Better Days To Come For Miami Marlins Dan Straily

New Miami Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has had some rocky outings, but potential remains bright. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
New Miami Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has had some rocky outings, but potential remains bright. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Through two games, it has admittedly not been smooth sailing for the Miami Marlins Dan Straily.

Miami MarlinsDan Straily‘s ERA sits at 7.56, which on the bright side, is just about fifty percent better than it was after first start in Washington. But, while every other Marlins starter has submitted at least one relatively worry-free outing, Straily has yet to do that in his two appearances.

However, I would hold off on reaching for that Doug Fister panic button just yet.

Well, actually the Marlins should sign Fister, but that’s more about depth. The point is, there is no reason to bail on the Dan Straily era two games into 2016.

Reasons to Wait

For starters, he did pitch well enough to earn the win, surrendering only 3 ER across 5 IP. If he does just that – 3 ER allowed, 5 IP- even just fifteen more times this season, he’ll be well worth his paycheck.

Another reason to temper concern would the opponents faced so far. The Nationals are an extremely talented team, and a pretty tough draw for a road start in your first game with a new ball club. Conversely, the Braves are significantly less talented, but are a team that owned him in his one appearance against them last season.

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Even so, he clearly adjusted, both from his 2016 shellacking against Atlanta and his early exit last week against Washington. Prudence would seem to dictate that he be afforded another start or two against better match-ups to see if he just isn’t Clayton Kershaw, or whether he isn’t even Jose Urena.

Now if the Padres rough him up two starts from now, feel free to fret.

2017 Strategy

While it is a little frustrating that he hasn’t lasted past the fifth inning yet, he did do so twenty-two times last season. Further, for those worried about pitch count and/or arm strength, Straily totaled or surpassed 90 pitches in twenty-four starts, and made thirty-four in total. The longer appearances will come.

Of course, that isn’t necessarily the plan either.

Remember, the 2017 strategy is based on putting a lot on the shoulders of that deeper bullpen. Five is the new six in terms of innings being demanded of the starting pitcher on many a night.

Whether that strategy is sound over 162 games remains to be seen, but it’s not a strategy that’s going to be junked anytime soon either. Certainly not as long as the team continues to play at or above .500.

Cause for Runs

It should also be remembered that both outings were marked by one bad inning. Each of those bad innings were marked by one chance defensive blunder. Those will happen less as the season progresses, not just because the Marlins have been minus at least one elite defender in both of Straily’s starts.

While it’s fair to say a veteran pitcher needs to be able to deal with that better. It is understandable how that could throw off even the best of competitors on occasion.

Lastly though, I think a lot of concern could be ameliorated by realizing that Straily is not a No. 2 pitcher, at least not in the traditional sense. This rotation coming out of Spring Training had more to do with Experience.

Moving forward we may see changes to the rotation as a whole. As the Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer has noted, the stated club mentality is that everyone is an ace; which is basically a nice way of saying everyone is a No. 3 on a good day.

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I still think that’s a fair expectation for Straily. And if his comrades can do the same, I still like our chances as well.