Adam Conley isn’t a lock for Miami Marlins 2018 rotation

MIAMI, FL - JULY 29: Adam Conley
MIAMI, FL - JULY 29: Adam Conley /

After getting off to a strong start, Adam Conley has struggled in his previous two outings. If it continues, he isn’t guaranteed anything in 2018.

The Miami Marlins want Adam Conley to work out. After drafting the promising left-hander in the second round, he’s impressed and infuriated the Marlins organization. His success is regularly peppered with prodigious failure.

After struggling to start the season, Conley was sent down to the lower levels to work it out. It appeared he had when he was first recalled in mid-July. In his first three starts, he was effective, borderline stellar. In has last two, he’s been batted around by division foes.

If Adam Conley doesn’t improve considerably over the next seven weeks, he isn’t promised a spot in the 2018 rotation.

It’s a curious position the Miami Marlins find themselves in. They possess a young, left-handed hurler who has every skill you could want. They are desperate for long-term, controllable starting pitching, and need to win now. It seems like a match made in heaven.

But Adam Conley has failed to show the kind of consistency that playoff teams look for in a starting pitcher. When he takes the mound, you’re unsure if he’ll throw seven shutout innings, are allow seven runs in the first two. There is too much uncertainty.

In his first three starts since being recalled, the Miami Marlins were backflipping, praying that it was a sign of things to come. It still may be, but Conley hasn’t looked great in his last two starts.

Consider that he pitched the 20.2 innings, allowed only four earned runs, and averaged a game score of 61 in his first three starts. He was in complete control, and issued only four walks over that span of time.

Since then, it’s been a tale of two Conley’s.

Conley takes a turn

In his last two starts, Conley has seen all of his numbers take a dive. He’s thrown a combined 10.1 innings, and allowed a startling eight earned runs on 16 hits. His WHIP is up, his K’s are down, and his average game score is 36. Batters are hitting .356 against him in that time.

In the three starts where he found his most success, he pitched to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Texas Rangers, and the Cincinnati Reds. All three teams are well below .500, and near the bottom of the league in many offensive categories.

The Braves tagged him for three earned runs in 5.1 innings. Conley was sharp after surrendering a run in the first inning, but hit a wall after recording the first out in the sixth. The Braves scored three in the bottom of the sixth to put themselves ahead for good.

It appears that carried over to Conley’s starts against the Nationals. Conley was as off as we’ve seen him since being recalled. He walked three batters, surrendered a home run, and 11 hits in only five innings of work. It was a decisive loss from start to finish.

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For as good as Adam Conley was in his first three starts, he’s struggled in his last two.

The Miami Marlins are desperate for Adam Conley to work out. But that doesn’t mean that he’ll be handed a spot in the 2018 rotation. He’ll need to give Miami more effective starts over the next two months to end the season favorably.