Adam Conley is pitching well enough for a 2018 rotation spot

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Adam Conley
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 20: Adam Conley /

After demoting their promising left-hander midseason, the Miami Marlins are seeing what they hoped to see out of Adam Conley.

Part of what has made Adam Conley such a vexing professional baseball players is his lack of consistency. If he can avoid any major setbacks the rest of the way, expect to see him in the Miami Marlins rotation next year.

In many ways his demotion was a result of mounting frustration from the team. It was in the throws of their worst month of the year, and the team appeared determined to keep Conley on a short leash. Since recalling him, he’s been as good as they hoped he’d be.

Adam Conley is pitching like someone who deserves a spot on the rotation in 2018.

If that proves to be the case, it cuts down the available spots to two. You have to figure Jose Urena and Dan Straily have done enough to earn a spot next season. Chris O’Grady, Dillon Peters, Justin Nicolino, and any free agent signing the Marlins are considering would compete to round out the staff.

This season, Conley has put up two stinkers from the bump. He went 1.2 innings against the Pirates on April 28th, surrendering nine runs. 10-days later, he allowed seven earned runs to the Tampa Bay Rays in only 3.2 innings. He was demoted following that start.

Other than that, Conley has gone at least five-innings in every start he has made this year. Since returning, he appears to be the pitcher Miami thought he was before a short-sighted demotion saw him spend most of the season in the minor leagues.

The question is quickly becoming where, not if Conley appears in the rotation next season.

2018 landing spot for Conley

There are a lot of unknown variables heading into the 2018 season for the Miami Marlins. Not the least of which will be a new ownership group that likely has their own vision for the team. But even if things held pat, it’d be a tough call.

How much stock do you put in the emergence of Jose Urena this year? What about Dan Straily? Can Adam Conley justifiably slot in front of both of these pitchers in the rotation after two strong months to end the year?

Since returning to the big leagues, Conley has pitched to a 3.25 ERA, and has an average game score of 54. Being taken in the second round of the draft means the Marlins will give him preference over players they haven’t invested as much in.

Jose Urena is still a young pitcher, and could continue to improve. Dan Straily is already is the pitcher he’s going to be, (and that’s not a bad thing). Adam Conley still has massive upside, which if realized, would leapfrog him in front of both of these pitchers.

Next: Miami Marlins could still (technically) win 100 games

It might just come down to spring training. We’ll have a better idea of who will be in a Miami Marlins uniform after winter meetings conclude. Wheeling and dealing could be on the horizon, and any roster projection is purely speculation at this point.