Pitcher Zac Gallen shines in Miami Marlins debut

ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 20: Zac Gallen #52 of the Miami Marlins makes his MLB debut pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on June 20, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 20: Zac Gallen #52 of the Miami Marlins makes his MLB debut pitching against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on June 20, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Zac Gallen pitched five strong innings in his debut for the Miami Marlins on Thursday night. The 23-year-old did not get the decision but showed he belongs in the Majors.

The debut of Miami Marlins minor league sensation Zac Gallen was as good as advertised. He did not factor in the 7-6 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night, however, he did show he is ready for an expanded role in this rotation.

The Marlins have been hit by injuries of late with the announcement this week that Pablo Lopez will spend a 10-day stint on the I.L. Gallen, who has made pitching in the Pacific Coast League look like child’s play this season, should remain on the 25-man roster.

Now, with the influx of “new” young pitching, the front office must decide who remains with the parent club and who pitchers move back to the minors.

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Miami should have Lopez back after it was revealed he has a mild shoulder strain. There is no structural damage to his arm. The same holds true for Caleb Smith, who has been dealing with inflammation in his hip that shelved him for two starts. The team will be without their Opening Day starter Jose Urena who is dealing with a lower back injury.

His timetable to return is not known as the Marlins placed him on the 60-day I.L.

As of right now, Sandy Alcantara and Trevor Richards remain the only two starters from the beginning of the season. The performance of Elieser Hernandez and Jordan Yamamoto, coupled with Gallen’s first chapter in the majors proves the Marlins have punched all the right buttons with trades that benefit this franchise’s future.

The win may not have been Gallen’s, but the energy he showed working the five innings after a 20-pitch first stanza was thrilling for the 23-year-old.

"“It was cool,” Gallen said. “I tried to take in as much as I could, but at the same time, you’re out there to do a job. It was awesome.”"

Glenn Geffner, who is part of the Marlins broadcast team, summed it up best on his Twitter page when talking about what this youthful pitching staff has done over the course of the past week and a half

"“The #Marlins have called up 3 starting pitchers from Triple-A in the last 10 days. Elieser Hernandez, Jordan Yamamoto, and Zac Gallen have combined for a 1.47 ERA in 5 starts. Into tonight, #Marlins starters have the best ERA in the NL East, rank 4th in the NL and 7th in #MLB.”"

That’s pretty good stuff, which also explains the situation these Marlins are in. A 27-46 record does tell the entire story as the lineup has been shaky this season and the bullpen at times has faltered when it mattered most.

What is exciting about these past few games is the overall picture of this organization. There are still plenty of talented arms in the minors who will have a hard time cracking this rotation or this staff.  The Marlins made a flurry of moves on Thursday in addition to the promotion of Gallen to the Majors and the 40-man roster.

Gallen threw 99 pitches on the night – 61 of them were strikes. He used his slider effectively. In doing so, and competing against his old team, Gallen did something historical on the night, as Joe Frisaro wrote.

"“Gallen, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is just the third starting pitcher since 1995 to make his MLB debut against the team that drafted him. He joins Mario Ramos, who started for the Rangers at the Athletics on June 19, 2003, and Bobby Chouinard, who started for Oakland at Baltimore on May 26, 1996.”"

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