21. Ricky Nolasco (10.7)
Ricky Nolasco was a 6-foot-2, 235 lb. right-handed pitcher from Corona, CA. Born on December 13th, 1982, he was picked in the fourth round of the 2001 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Chicago Cubs.
After the 2005 season, while still in the minors, Nolasco was traded by Chicago with Sergio Mitre and Renyel Pinto to the Marlins for Juan Pierre. The following seasons would see him pitch in 35 games for the Marlins, starting 22 of them. He went 11-11 with a 4.82 ERA, a 1.414 WHIP, and 99 whiffs in 140 innings.
After injury kept Nolasco’s 2007 season to only five appearances, he joined the Marlins rotation in earnest in 2008. He would go 15-8 with a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts, with 186 strikeouts in 212 1/3 innings. He posted an enduring career-best 1.102 WHIP.
Now the de facto Ace of the Marlins rotation, Nolasco was Florida’s Opening Day starter in 2009. He went 13-9 through the season with a 5.06 ERA, a 1.254 WHIP, and 195 K’s in 185 innings. His 9.5 K/9 rate was the best mark of his career.
In 2010, went 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA in 26 starts for the Marlins, with 147 whiffs in 157 2/3 innings and a 1.281 WHIP. He led the staff in victories, although he was arguably only the third best starter on the team behind Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson.
Nolasco started 33 games for the 2011 Marlins, “leading” the N.L. with 244 hits allowed in 206 innings. The resultant 1.398 WHIP was a little concerning, but Nolasco’s 3.53 FIP was significantly better than his 4.67 ERA, pointing to the defense behind him as a culprit. He went 10-12 for the season, with another 148 K’s.
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In 2012, Nolasco settled in as the brand new “Miami” Marlins as their number three rotation starter. He went 12-13 over 31 starts, with 125 K’s in 191 innings.
Nolasco went 8-3 for the Dodgers, and later pitched for the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Angels. After sitting out the 2018 season, he spent 2019 in the Arizona Diamondbacks minor league system. He remains the Marlins all-time franchise-leader with 1225 2/3 innings pitched and 1001 strikeouts.