Miami Marlins latest acquisition: RHP William Cuevas

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Marlins made a move to help pad the depth they’re lacking in the starting rotation. On Wednesday, they signed righty William Cuevas.

This likely isn’t the kind of move that is going to change the direction of the Miami Marlins franchise. However it’s the kind of low-risk, high upside gamble that helps build winning teams. The Miami Marlins have decided to roll the dice on right hander William Cuevas.

Cuevas hasn’t had much Major League experience in his career. The 26-year-old Venezuelan pitcher has logged a total of 5.1 innings at the pro level. He’s split his time in stints with Boston in 2016, and more recently the Tigers in 2017.

After being designated for assignment, Cuevas decided to test free agency rather than be out-righted to Toledo.

Cuevas signed with the Marlins on a minor league contract. He’ll likely only be called up to the Major League team in the event of further injury. To this point, he has never started a game as a Major League ballplayer. He has split his time between the pen and the rotation in lower levels.

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His only appearance for the Tigers was brief, and Cuevas only managed to retire one out. His ineffectiveness and prompt demotion leads to one of the more eye-catching ERA’s you’ll ever see: 108.00.

In Toledo, he’s fared slightly better.

Cuevas has pitched his way to a 4.06 ERA in 44.1 innings. His performance has been wildly erratic, though. His last four starts for the Mud Hens have been fantastic, but they’re overshadowed but mighty struggles earlier in the season.

What the Marlins got in Cuevas

Cuevas’ performance in AAA can be split directly in two. Between April 14th and May 5th, he was awful. He posted a 7.80 ERA, with 10 walks in 15 innings. In one particularly bad outing, he failed to record an out while surrendering six runs on only one hit.

Since then, he’s been better. Most importantly he’s proved capable of eating innings, with his shortest outing lasting five innings. In has last four starts, he’s pitched 23.1 innings and allowed seven earned runs. He’s seen his strike out numbers increase, fanning ten in his latest start.

In Cuevas, the Miami Marlins got a serviceable arm that could contribute at the Major League levee eventually. There’s no rush to get major production from him right away. Because he’s spent so little time in the Major Leagues, he’s yet to exceed his rookie limits.

That means he has years of team control ahead of him before he’s eligible for arbitration.

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William Cuevas has shown flashes of effectiveness at AAA, but he’ll need to be far more consistent to establish himself in the MLB. The Miami Marlins are positioned to give him an opportunity if he can earn it. The possibility for Major League innings is likely what lead Cuevas to sign with Miami to begin with.