In weekly segments in this 25th anniversary season, Marlin Maniac will be highlighting the best and the brightest from throughout their history. Whether a Florida Marlin, a Miami Marlin, or a player who was here for both iterations, these 10 Marlins left their mark on the culture.
In total for the Miami Marlins, there have been 318 players who have pitched to at least one batter. 51 players have pitched at least 200 innings for the team, and that’s where we will set our cutoff. Most of these 51 are starting pitchers, but 14 of them appeared in relief over half of the time. Before we get started, lets take a look at who barely missed the cut.
Adam Conley (7.73)
Adam Conley signed with the Miami Marlins when they were still known as the Florida Marlins. In the second round of the 2011 draft, they picked him with the 72nd overall choice.
Conley has historically appeared as a starter. Before this season, he was 20-15 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.416 WHIP and 255 K’s in 303 innings. This season, manager Don Mattingly decided to use him out of the bullpen. He’s given up 12 hits in 23 2/3 innings, and struck out 29 since making the change. He’s also holding opponents to a 0.887 WHIP and a .150/.228/.313 slashline.
Al Leiter (7.74)
Al Leiter made his debut in 1987 with the New York Yankees, then spent seven years with the Toronto Blue Jays. After the 1995 campaign, the Florida Marlins signed him through free agency.
In two seasons with the Marlins, Leiter went 30-28, made his first all-star team in 1996 and won his first World Series Championship in 1997. He also finished sixth in the NL Cy Young Award vote in 1996. As a Marlin, he posted a 4.07 ERA, struck out 384 in 446 2/3 innings, and kept opponents to 1.442 WHIP.
A.J. Burnett (7.94)
As far as I can tell, A.J. Burnett was the founder of the #STFD hashtag, with this play:
Burnett made his major league debut in 1999 with the Florida Marlins, and stuck around through the 2005 campaign. He was 49-50 overall, with 753 whiffs in 853 2/3 innings. Burnett earned a 3.73 ERA, a 1.284 WHIP, and held opponents to a .230/.317/.350 slashline during his tenure. That translates to a largely harmless .667 OPS.
Later, Burnett spent three seasons each with the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees. After two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies for one season. He played his final year back in Pittsburgh, earning his first all-star nod in his 17th and final season.
Chuck Smith (8.07)
Chuck Smith had a 15-season baseball career, starting in 1991 and ending in 2005. For two seasons in the middle of his minor league travels, he started 34 games for the Florida Marlins.
Smith went 11-11 with a 3.84 ERA and a 1.372 WHIP, striking out 189 in 210 2/3 innings. Opponents slashed .255/.335/.393 against Smith.
Josh Johnson (8.17)
Johnson appeared in 154 games for the Florida and Miami Marlins from 2005 through 2012. In 2006 he finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, then made his first all-star appearance in 2009 when he went 15-5. In 2010, he led the National League with a 2.30 ERA and finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award vote.
Johnson totaled a 56-37 record with the Marlins, with a 3.15 ERA, 832 strikeouts in 916 2/3 innings, and a 1.233 WHIP. Opposing batters slashed .242/.307/.348 versus Johnson.