After an offseason that the Miami Marlins made a few changes to its roster, the team could still make one more move by trading pitcher Dan Straily.
I have said it before. The Miami Marlins have too many starting pitchers. Experts who know plenty more than I do will tell you this is a problem to have, especially since the Marlins are a team in need of solid pitchers and balance with its pitching staff. Still, the coaching staff and front office have some decisions to make regarding the possibility of another trade before the start of the MLB season.
A story on calltothepen.com suggests the team will trade starter Dan Straily, although it has not happened yet. A move like that would clear some of the congestion amongst the youngsters vying for a role in the rotation, but it would also create a void of leadership. Straily, who will start his third season in Miami, as the veteran manager Don Mattingly has depended on to eat innings and find a rhythm the past two seasons.
"“When it comes to the Miami Marlins of late, all the chatter has been about starting pitching. How the organization has way more depth than in years past,” writes Sean Millerick. “How signing Sergio Romo has freed up Don Mattingly to use an “opener”. And lastly, that Jose Urena will once more be taking the mound as the Miami Marlins Opening Day starter.”"
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The Marlins have made the right moves the past season, adding Sandy Alcantara, Caleb Smith, and Nick Neidert while seeing progress in Pablo Lopez and Trevor Richards. At some point, this team will either trade away young arms who blossom for other organizations or will find new homes for veterans who can help a franchise make the playoffs.
If you are looking for a similar situation, think about the Atlanta Braves farm system in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
While Straily was solid last season when he was on the bump, injuries invaded his performance for the first time in his career, putting him on the disabled list to start 2018 with arm inflammation and ending it too early because of an oblique injury. At 30 years old, do the Marlins need to be concerned that their workhorse is showing wear and tear to his body?
Mattingly already announced that Jose Urena would once again get the nod as the Opening Day starter and Straily would still be the team’s No. 2 pitcher. I agree with Millerick’s assessment that Straily is still the more consistent performer on the staff and the clear cut veteran leader of the pitching staff.
Are Straily’s days numbered in Miami? Possibly? Do I think he will be traded at the MLB deadline? Yes. Do I think he is sent elsewhere before the start of the 2019 season? Potentially. Straily makes the Marlins a tougher rotation. While these young arms develop in the ebb and flow of a 162-game season, this team will need more veteran leadership. It cannot count on a performance from Urena like it got the second half of 2018.
Straily is the real star of Miami’s starting five. For now, he remains the rock that holds the staff together. We can only wonder how long that is for, and which team will eventually benefit from adding him to their pitching staff.