Miami Marlins: Team Should Take Chance on Dan Straily

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The Miami Marlins are in need of starting pitching help. That is a known fact around Miami these days, as the team’s 2016 rotation looks bleak behind ace Jose Fernandez

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Opening day starter Henderson Alvarez is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a torn labrum. His status for the 2016 season is murky at this point. Jarred Cosart has been a flop for much of the season, but an inner-ear infection could be the reason for his struggles. There is no timetable for his return at this point.

At the trade deadline, the Marlins dealt 2/5’s of their starting rotation, in Mat Latos and Dan Haren, packing to contenders.

So the team not only needs starters for the rest of 2015, but for next season as well. One option for the team to consider may have become available today, as the Houston Astros designated Dan Straily for assignment.

Dan Straily owns an ugly 5.87 ERA and a 4.72 FIP in 15 1/3 innings of work for the Astros in 2015. His career ERA sits at 4.62 with his career FIP coming in at 4.71 in 259 major league innings.

His designation for assignment comes one day after he allowed four runs on six hits in 4/2 innings against the Texas Rangers. He struck out and walked 3 a piece.

Dan Straily would inject something that is missing from the Miami Marlins rotation, besides Jose Fernandez, the ability to get hitters to swing and miss. He owns a career 19.5% strikeout rate, though he does often have bouts with his command, with a 9.4% walk rate.

Straily, once a top prospect for the A’s, was one of the main pieces moved from the Oakland Athletics to the Chicago Cubs last season, as the A’s acquired Jeff Samardzija last July. He was shipped from Chicago to Houston before the season, for Dexter Fowler and Luis Valbuena.

Jon Sickels of Minor League Ball even ranked Straily ahead of A’s now ace Sonny Gray before the 2003 season, but mainly because he was the pitcher with the higher floor.

"3) Dan Straily, RHP, Grade B: I’ve gone back and forth on ranking him ahead of Gray. Straily’s upside isn’t as high as Gray’s, but his floor is higher too, meaning that I’m more certain of what Straily’s role (number three/four starter) will be than I am of Gray’s, who could turn into anything from an ace to a schlub. In the end, I’m ranking him ahead of Gray heading into 2013."

Straily enjoyed his best season in the majors his rookie season in 2013. He posted a 3.96 ERA and a 4.05 FIP in 152 2/3 innings of work. He was nearly a league average pitcher with a 1.8 fWAR and finished fourth in Rookie of the Year Voting.

He is not going to be a number 2 or 3 starter, but still fits the bill of a decent backend starter on a good team. A move from the American League to the National League and from Minute Maid Park to Marlins Park would help him with his 13.3 home run percentage this season, as well as his 11.1% for his career.

As I mentioned above, he would also add a strong strikeout game to the Miami Marlins rotation that lacks it. Straily has struck out 9.5 hitters per nine innings across 768 minor league innings, including 8.4 per nine in nearly 100 innings with the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate.

For the Miami Marlins, who are in desperate need of starting pitching help, Straily makes a ton of sense. He’s still just 26-years old and likely holds more upside than prospects Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena in the long-run.

Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!

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