Drew Rucinski joined the Miami Marlins on a minor league deal late in 2017.
Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 179 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Andrew James Rucinski is a 6’2″, 190 lb. right-handed pitcher from Neenah, Wisconsin. He’s the third native of Neenah to crack the majors, along with pitcher Rich Loiselle and first baseman Eric Hinske. Born on December 30th, 1988, Rucinski played him some college ball with The Ohio State University.
In four seasons of Division I work, Rucinski was 22-13 with a 4.69 ERA and 193 K’s in 256 innings. His senior season would see him drop his ERA all the way down to 2.95 and his WHIP from 1.683 down to 1.207. Despite the solid improvement, he did not get selected in the 2011 MLB Entry Draft., instead signing a free agent deal with the Cleveland Indians. Follow Rucinski on Twitter at @DrewRucinski.
Over the next few seasons, Rucinski made stops for the Arizona Indians (rookie, CLE), the Rockford Riverhawks/Aviators (IND), the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (low-A, CLE), the Lake County Captains (single-A, CLE). the Inland Empire 66ers (high-A, ANA), the Arkansas Travelers (double-A, ANA, mid-season all-star), the Salt Lake Bees (triple-A, ANA), the Iowa Cubs (triple-A, CHN), and the Rochester Red Wings (triple-A, MIN, mid-season all-star). In two callups for the Angels, in 2014 and 2015, he allowed 1.884 WHIP and a 6.28 ERA. When he made it back with the Twins in 2017, he got into two games and gave up 10 hits and a pair of walks in 4 1/3 innings.
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After the 2017 season, the Twins deigned to resign Rucinski, and the righty instead inked a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins. Through the first two months of the 2018 campaign, Rucinski pitched to a 2.52 ERA for the triple-A New Orleans Baby Cakes in the Pacific Coast League. On June 3rd, he joined the Miami Marlins.
Neither remarkably good or bad, Rucinski ended up seventh on the Miami Marlins with 32 pitching appearances, despite his late start. On June 18th, he struck out four San Francisco Giants in three perfect innings of work, as the Marlins took a 5-4 victory. His biggest game in terms of positive impact, according to Wins Above Replacement, was on August 21st in a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees. Rucinski pitched a hitless 10th and 11th before giving way to Javy Guerra in the 12th. Guerra lost it on a Miguel Andujar longball.
Over the season, Rucinski struck out 27 in 35 1/3 innings for the Miami Marlins, with a 1.330 WHIP and a 3.81 FIP. His 85 ERA+, although technically below average, was better than 17 other Miami Marlins pitchers through the season (not counting Bryan Holaday). Rucinski was 4-2 with a 4.33 ERA.
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