The pitching woes continue for the Miami Marlins starting rotation. Will the team make a move to promote a player or two from their minor league system?
The Marlins plan to use a rotation full of youth and promise hasn’t fared as well as some might have thought.
While the front office continues to stick to the blueprint and trot out youngster after youngster, the return on their investments hasn’t been as lucrative as they could be.
Yes, the lineup has let this team down more than we can count so far this season, but some performances on the bump have been better than others. That’s why Marlins fans are so thankful for the mastery of Caleb Smith this season and hope for another win tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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There has been plenty of talk about which minor league arm will could be next in line to join the rotation. While the front office continues to make moves to help the bullpen, the starting five have not been touched yet. There is a belief by a few writers who cover the team that Zac Gallen, who has owned the Pacific Coast League this season, is next on the list to hear his name called to the Bigs.
We will hold our breath on this one. An injury or a quick decision may turn out to be the only way he gets that kind of news before the All-Star break. Should Gallen make that move from New Orleans to South Florida, who would he replace in the rotation?
My guess is Sandy Alcantara who hasn’t looked as good in any start after his first outing of the season when he pitched eight innings of shutout baseball. Also, Trevor Richards doesn’t have a win this season, the only Marlins starter to lay claim to that statistic.
The Marlins have other pitching prospects who could impact the team at the end of this season or in 2020. Joe Frisaro of MLB.com added his own thoughts on the topic.
"“Besides [Sixto] Sanchez — Miami’s No. 1 prospect as ranked by MLB Pipeline — the pitcher to watch, at least from industry insiders, is right-hander Edward Cabrera, the club’s No. 8 prospect,” writes Frisaro.“The 21-year-old recently had a 13-strikeout performance, mixing in 94-95 mph fastballs and a wipeout slider, in the 82 mph range. That performance had scouts in attendance saying he showed Nos. 1 or 2 starter potential. His changeup also was on point that night.”"
Gallen once again put on a clinic Monday night, and there are others who were impressive on the mounds as well. Robert Dugger in Jacksonville, the Marlins AA affiliate showed he could get a look when September rolls around.
It still seems, however on the surface, it is Gallen and then everyone else.
"“Zac Gallen, of course, has been really good at Triple-A New Orleans. The No. 18 prospect touched 97 mph, but he is mostly in the 93-94 mph range, which is fine,” explains Frisaro. “Projections have Gallen as a back-of-the-rotation-caliber starter, which is very good, considering he was an extra piece in the Marcell Ozuna trade with the Cardinals a few years ago.”"
Should Gallen get the call to move up, then the Marlins would have to decide what to do with the puzzle piece he is replacing. The team’s depth in minor league pitching means someone like Alcantara could be moved to Triple-A to once again work on his control or the Marlins could use a six-man rotation that was discussed early on before the start of the season.