The Tom Koehler era ended on Saturday in a deal that sent him to Toronto. We wish “The Big Salad” the best, and welcome a new Miami Marlins prospect.
After years of middling service, Tom Koehler was unable to piece it back together this season. And so, just like Humpty Dumpty, he was shipped off to Canada. (That part is ommitted from the commonly recited version of the nursery rhyme). The Miami Marlins moved the veteran righty on Saturday.
In return from the Blue Jays, the Marlins decided to take a flyer on a young right-hander with huge upside. It’s the type of prospect the Miami Marlins have historically loved to gamble on. If it works out for them this time, it could pay off huge.
The Miami Marlins welcome Osman Gutierrez as the latest addition to their farm system.
It appears that Miami is looking to revamp their farm system whilst keeping the core of their Major League team intact. Moving Tom Koehler for Osman Gutierrez furthers that effort. He’s progressed slowly through the minor leagues, but possesses all the tools you could ask for.
Gutierrez is able to run his fastball up to 97-mph when he needs to. He usually sits in the mid-90’s, occasionally dipping as low as 92. With a hard breaking slider in the mid-80’s, Gutierrez will need to develop a third pitch to stay in the rotation.
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As of right now, that pitch is a changeup that lacks movement. It’s been getting hit hard, particularly by left-handed batters. There is reason for optimisim with the Miami Marlins, though. We’ve seen what their pitching coaches have done for Chris O’Grady and his changeup.
A developing prospect
Osman Gutierrez isn’t a prospect who is going to make a push for a spot on the rotation next season. He has a long way to go before he is ready to compete against the best. Since signing for a Nicaraguan record $210,000 in 2011, he’s been slow to progress.
He didn’t arrive in the States to play in the Blue Jays system until 2015, and his results have been mixed since then. He’s shown improvement from year-to-year, but is getting hit hard in single-A this year.
Gutierrez often falls victim to the base-on-balls-bugaboo. When he does, his outings are brief, laborious, and ugly on the stat line. He’s failed to go at least five innings on seven different occasions this year.
His best start, a seven inning shutout performance in which he walked only one batter and fanned 10 gives insight to his potential. High strikeout totals are common for Gutierrez, hinting a possible future in the bullpen if his changeup never materializes.
The Miami Marlins essentially took a deal in which they got something for Koehler, instead of nothing. He wouldn’t have been with the team next season anyway, so they moved him while they could. They’re banking on having better success developing Gutierrez than the Blue Jays did.
If Gutierrez does arrive in the Major Leagues, it’s going to be a while. He’ll be 23 when the season starts next year, meaning there is no rush. There is a chance he’ll be taken in the Rule 5 Draft this offseason, but that seems highly unlikely.