Where does Jose Urena fit in?
By Mark Laming
Last season the Miami Marlins called up prospect Jose Urena from New Orleans early in the season. After working out of the bullpen to start the season, the Marlins gave Urena a shot to be major league starter. In a series of inconsistent outings, Urena left the Marlins with more questions than answers about how he fits into the future of the team.
2015 was unspectacular for Urena, coming in at 0.1 wins above replacement, amassing a 5.25 ERA and showing overall inconsistency throughout the campaign. Some starts for Urena were brilliant but lead to him grabbing a loss or a no-decision, and some nights opponents would shell him and knock him out of the game in the early innings.
So in 20 total games, including nine starts, Urena had a rough rookie year. At just 24 years-old and after only his first extended major league stay, he is still figuring life in the majors out and still has plenty of times to turn things around.
His dilemma, he’s one of many moving parts in an unstable Marlins rotation and falls in with Justin Nicolino and Adam Conley in a group of young pitchers trying to crack the 2016 rotation. Now, things are even more unstable for Urena as he is trust into a competition not just to stay on the major league roster, but to be a major league starter.
Leaving him with a great opportunity to become a full-time starter. But, if things don’t go as planned, he could end up playing in AAA to start off 2016 and may not see another opportunity to start for the Marlins. It’s either going to be a golden opportunity or an extreme disappointment.
Urena has a tremendous opportunity to prove to the organization that he is a part of the Marlins future rotation, but he must emerge and show flashes during Spring Training to get there.