The Miami Marlins are about to run into a good problem, something that has forsaken them in 2015. With the impending return of Jose Fernandez and Jarred Cosart from the DL, the Marlins are about to have a surplus of pitching on the team.
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We already know Jose Fernandez is set to make his 2015 debut on July 2nd against the San Francisco Giants, but manager Dan Jennings also said that Jarred Cosart will likely be returning to the rotation Thursday to make his first start since May 13th.
"“He’s good,” Jennings said. “He had a nice outing. He had a little over 100 pitches. He walked six, which was a little more than we wanted, but he threw the ball well. He too utilized all his pitches and made sure he had a few changeups and some very good curveballs. I think you could look to see him be activated Thursday. We wouldn’t do it before then because he pitched on Sunday. There’s no need to do that and be short a man.”"
With Fernandez and Cosart about to be added back into the mix, they join Dan Haren, Mat Latos, Tom Koehler, Brad Hand, Jose Urena, David Phelps, and Justin Nicolino as starting pitching options for the Marlins.
That doesn’t even include Henderson Alvarez, who is also working back from injury, but his timetable at this point is still unknown.
So what does the extra starting pitching depth mean the Marlins will do? According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Miami Marlins could look to move some of their surplus pitching, especially if the team struggles on this current 9-game home stand and decides to become sellers.
It is interesting that Latos, a Miami native, would be the odd man out in such a scenario. Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino have combined to make a handful of major league starts and could be optioned back to the minors.
Tom Koehler and Brad Hand have proven to be nothing special in the rotation and could be better fits in the pen.
And Dan Haren has the highest trade value, but him being unlikely to moved is puzzling. Haren, while he owns a sparkling 3.19 ERA, has been lucky this year, with a .224 BABIP against and 83.8% LOB% propping up his ERA. His 4.45 FIP and 4.41 xFIP are in agreement that darker days are on the way for the right hander.
The Miami Marlins would be wise to sell Haren, as his trade value will never be higher. Also, at 34-years old, he’s unlikely to receive an arbitration tender from the Marlins, meaning the team would get no draft pick compensation when Haren signs elsewhere this off-season.
While Rosenthal reports that the Marlins could look to trade from their pitching depth, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald hears the team isn’t interested in trading any of their pitchers:
"The Marlins — who will have nine starting pitchers when Jose Fernandez and Henderson Alvarez return — have been getting trade calls inquiring about many of them, but they say they don’t want to trade any of them. They’re OK going with six starters before the All-Star break, five after."
Henderson Alvarez still seems ways away from returning and even then, he is a major question mark with shoulder issues landing him on the DL 4 times in the previous 3 seasons. My level of concern with Alvarez is high.
Jose Fernandez is coming back from Tommy John surgery and has is a question mark on how many innings the team will allow him to pitch.
Koehler, Hand, Urena, Phelps, and Nicolino are all under team control for the next few seasons, so they provide plenty of depth behind Fernandez and Alvarez.
Mat Latos and Dan Haren are both impending free agents and neither is likely to be re-signed by Miami this off-season. These are the two the Marlins should highly consider trading, but with Latos being more likely to bring the Marlins back draft pick compensation back, if he were to be extended an arbitration tender.
To me, it’s fairly obvious Dan Haren should be the pitcher the team seeks to move. His 3.19 ERA could draw teams in and allow the Miami Marlins to sell high before his performance regresses towards that 4.45 FIP mark.
In any trade, the Marlins should target more minor pitching or corner infield help for the future, as the team has very little depth at first and third base. Author Michael Sonbeek suggested a few trades the team could make in a post yesterday.
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