The Miami Marlins ran out of options for the young arm, but haven’t had to worry about that this year.
The only options for him were to stay with the Miami Marlins, or be designated for assignment where another team could claim him.
The Marlins desperately want to keep him because of his massive potential and upside. Everyone waited to see if Urena was going to put everything together and effectively get outs. This year, he’s gotten his outs and has looked darn good while doing it.
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Mostly used to eat innings as a long relief pitcher, his last two outings have been spectacular as a starter. In his first start, he threw six scoreless innings allowing only one hit on 63 pitches.
Many Marlins fans, along with the ball club itself, were encouraged by the performance to say the least. What remained was a question of consistency and replicating the performance.
The two C’s: Consistency and Control.
In Urena’s most recent start he showed a lot of the same. He only gave up two runs, off a home run, in six mostly stress free innings. This brings Urena to 27.1 innings pitched on the year.
He’s allowed six earned runs in those innings, giving him a team low ERA of 1.98. Part of his success this year has been due to his control.
He’s allowed only seven walks all season, giving him a BB/9 rate to the lowest of his career at 2.3. Urean’s has struggled with his control in the past, which often resulted in a lack of confidence.
A few good outings to start the season coupled with the past couple starts has his confidence at a career high. With Wei-Yin Chen out longer than anticipated, and Adam Conley being sent down, the door is wide open. Urena has his biggest (and possibly his last) chance to make his name.
Something many people don’t take into consideration with Urena is that he’s only 25 years-old. He’s still young and learning how to pitch in the Majors. If Urena can stay consistent, and dial-up quality start after quality start, then the Marlins will be cooking with oil.
Urena could become a fixture in the Marlins rotation for years to come.
Hopefully this hasn’t jinxed him, and he can show the consistency that could make him a great piece for the Fish.