Is Pitcher Zac Gallen The Miami Marlins Next Big Thing?
By David Levin
We have talked this season about the rookie pitchers the Miami Marlins have added to their roster. Zac Gallen could surprise everyone.
What if the Miami Marlins have another “gem” waiting to make the jump from Triple-A to the Major League roster? What if Zac Gallen shows enough in September to warrant consideration for the starting rotation in 2019?
SB Nation’s Ian McAlistair Smith posed the question as to whether Gallen could be one of those surprise players who make enough of an impression on manager Don Mattingly and the Marlins organization. Would he be in the hunt as the fourth or fifth starter? What happens to a rotation that may look different after the end of this season?
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"“Now Gallen is a kid I just don’t think gets the kind of love he deserves. Acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Marcell Ozuna trade last year, Zac Gallen is a complete pitcher,” writes Smith. “While he isn’t going to throw 100mph, he commands a fastball that he turns into three different pitches—a four-seam fastball that I’ve witnessed touch 95, plus a cutter and two-seamer that are dotting corners.”"
Gallen doesn’t just use a fastball to get hitters out. He uses an array of pitches and knows how to control the strike zone. He will use a changeup and a slider at will and does not have a problem mixing up his arsenal to confuse his opponents.
So much has been made about Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez – two pitchers who spent time in New Orleans before joining the show this season prior to the All-Star Game. It’s conceivable, along with Trevor Richards, Miami could star four arms with one year or less experience in the Major next season.
Jorge Guzman, who may be two seasons away, could be the best of all of them, but he still needs to mature in the minors.
The Marlins may not be the Atlanta Braves of the mid-90s or the Baltimore Orioles of 1979, but they make a strong case to have one of the best young rotations for the next few seasons. It’s also possible this could be the strength of the organization for years to come.
"“The opinions of most experts say he’s a fourth starter at best, but I believe he could come into that clubhouse tomorrow and be a multi-inning reliever out of the bullpen,” Smith added. “If he continues to perform at a high level in New Orleans, don’t be surprised to see the name “Gallen” getting outs in Marlins Park.”"
I can see Guzman as the team’s closer of the future and should Gallen move to the ‘pen, he could become an innings eater, much like Andrew Miller of the Cleveland Indians.
The Marlins had a chance to see what Gallen had in Spring Training. He did make a lasting impression on the coaching staff.
Hopefully, he will have impressive outings that will lead to making the 2019 Major League roster.