With a patchwork starting rotation, the Miami Marlins have dipped deeper into their depleted farm system for reinforcements.
On Tuesday, the Miami Marlins announced that Chris O’Grady would be put on the 10- day disabled list with a right oblique strain. O’Grady is a marginal Major League pitcher who was competing for a spot on the 2018 rotation.
While the organization was encouraged by O’Grady’s effective, at times stellar performance since arriving, he was always a “plan B”. Nobody entered the year thinking Chris O’Grady was the answer fora suspect rotation. And yet, here we are.
If O’Grady was plan B, what does that make the Miami Marlins newest addition Javy Guerra?
Guerra is a right-handed pitcher with some experience in the Major Leagues. He’s logged time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Chicago White Sox, but hasn’t appeared in a Major League game since he was with the Los Angeles Angles in 2016.
The Miami Marlins signed Guerra to their bullpen in December of 2016 as a way of boosting their depth should injuries become an issue. They have, and here he is. Expect Guerra to work in lower leverage situations. There’s a reason the team has called up Odrisamer Despaigne three times before calling up Guerra once.
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But what Guerra lacks in top-end talent, he makes up for in experience. He’s appeared in 153 Major League Baseball games, all in relief. His first two years in the league where by far his most productive. Since then, he’s been a middling quality pitcher.
Guerra hasn’t logged a full season in the big leagues since 2014 when he was with the White Sox. He posted impressive numbers that year, though. In 42 appearances, he logged a 2.91 ERA while pitching 46.1 innings.
He struggled to keep men off the bases though, indicated by his 1.317 WHIP.
Where does Guerra fit in?
It’s promotion by attrition for Guerra and the Miami Marlins. The team is hurting for pitchers. With the starting rotation taking another hit, it’ll likely mean an increased workload for the bullpen. Guerra has been brought aboard to eat up innings and move the game along.
It remains unknown who will take O’Grady’s spot in the rotation while he is on the disabled list. Could we see Jarlin Garcia slide into that spot? While the move to promote Guerra isn’t a direct replacement for O’Grady, it’s a curious move considering he is a bullpen arm, not a starting rotation piece.
O’Grady’s spot in the rotation is due to come up on August 12th. We’ll have an answer by then.