Riley Ferrell was a rule 5 offseason acquisition for the Miami Marlins, but he has yet to appear in a major league game.
Initially chosen in the third round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft by the Houston Astros, the Miami Marlins got him in December’s rule 5 draft.
Players acquired in such a way have special rules as to how they are engaged in the first season after their selection. Mostly, the parent club, in this case the Miami Marlins, must keep the player on the active roster through the season.
Of course, allowances must be made for injury, and Ferrell was placed on the injured list after Spring Training with right biceps tendinitis. After a few weeks on the 10-day IL, he was transferred to the 60-day list. Yesterday, Ferrell was assigned to a rehab stint with the double-A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League.
Ferrell made his first regular season in the Miami Marlins organization yesterday, in the Jumbo Shrimp’s 1-0 loss to the Montgomery Biscuits. He faced three batters, pitching a perfect seventh inning and extending the then-scoreless tie into the eighth. First, he worked Tristan Gray to a full count before striking him out swinging at strike three. He then got Lucius Fox to ground out on a 2-2 pitch and Brett Sullivan to fly out to Brian Miller to end the inning. Ferrell got 10-of-17 offerings over the plate.
Ferrell’s path to the Miami Marlins will require an additional move – that is, they must decide which pitcher to move off the active roster. The player in question will likely be Jarlin Garcia, when Ferrell has had enough rehab time.
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Ferrell had a strong Spring Training for the Marlins, striking out 10 and allowing two runs over 6 2/3 innings spread over seven appearances. He did walk five batters for a 1.61 WHIP over the small sample size, but over the course of his minor league career has collected a much more palatable mark of 1.37, with 4.28 walks allowed per nine innings. He has also struck out 10.75 batters per nine historically.
Look for Ferrell to pitch another game or two with the Shrimp before a move to the active roster.
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