Bad news hit the National League East on Monday morning, as we learned New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler would be out for the foreseeable future, as MRI results on his elbow showed a torn UCL. He’s likely headed towards Tommy John Surgery, something both Marlins and Mets fans are all too familiar with.
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Wheeler’s injury proves that the old saying “you can never have too much pitching” is as true now as it has been throughout baseball history. While the Marlins did trade a lot of their pitching depth this off-season, the club still has a pitching depth that the Mets might be a little jealous of today.
With Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Jarred Cosart, Dan Haren, and Tom Koehler, the Marlins already have a formidable rotation. That’s with potential rotation arms in Brad Hand and David Phelps likely starting the season in a relief role, with prospects Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena banging on the doors of the major league club in the near future.
That doesn’t even include the return of Jose Fernandez sometime between June and July.
The Marlins rotation could be 7 deep headed into the regular season and potentially 10 deep around the All-Star Break. This led to Jon Morosi speculating on Twitter that the Marlins could look to move an arm before the season starts on Saturday morning.
While Morosi speculates about the Marlins trading an arm or two to clear clutter on the roster headed into the season, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com refutes the fact the team could be shopping an arm.
"While the Marlins are awaiting a decision by Olivera, the club is not shopping any of its starting pitcher. The objective remains to keep them all.Some teams have checked in with the Marlins on other players, but the team hasn’t been approached about any starting.Dan Haren has pitched well in three Spring Training starts, giving up two runs in nine innings. Miami has no intention to trade Haren, who is being looked at as a key part of its rotation."
The Marlins tried to shop Dan Haren after acquiring him last season into the beginning of camp, but had little to no interest in him. Part of the reason for that is that Haren only wants to pitch on the west coast and the other part is that the Marlins would like to dump Haren and keep the $10 million the Dodgers sent them, so a team would likely be on tab for all of Haren’s 2015 salary. That’s not even including the fact he’s been a below league average pitcher the last couple of seasons.
Haren has pitched well this spring, but most teams are smart enough to not buy into spring numbers.
Brad Hand is an unlikely trade candidate as well. With him being out of minor league options, he wouldn’t be as valuable to another franchise as he’d be to the Marlins.
David Phelps and Tom Koehler would likely hold the most trade value of the pitchers the Marlins have, if they were to move anyone. Both players have two years of team control left, with Phelps being a super-two guy who went through salary arbitration this year.
The Marlins do have good depth for their starting rotation headed into the season, but of the pitchers that could hit the block, most of them hold little to no trade value. The Marlins are better suited to hold onto their pitchers and have them ready in case of another starter getting hurt.
Unfortunately, this spring has been a strong reminder that every pitcher is one pitch away from an injury. Depth is a very important thing for the Marlins moving forward.