The Miami Marlins have seen many different things from Adam Conley over the past five years, some good, and some bad.
Adam Conley joined the Miami Marlins system after they took him in the second round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Entry Draft, with the 72nd overall choice. A six-foot-three, 200 lb. lefty out of Washington State University, Conley eventually made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2015.
Mostly a rotation starter in his first look, Conley started in 11 of his 15 appearances as a rookie. He posted a 4-1 mark with a 3.76 ERA, a 1.284 WHIP, 59 strikeouts in 67 innings, a 101 ERA+, and 0.6 bWAR.
2016 would mark the best season of Conley’s professional career by most measures. He was 8-6 in 25 starts for the Marlins, with a 3.85 ERA, a 1.403 WHIP, and a career-best 124 K’s in 133 1/3 innings. Conley’s 1.5 bWAR was also the highest mark of his career, as was his 8.4 K/9 and his 102 ERA+. One time, he threw nearly eight innings of a no-hitter.
In 2017, Conley’s stats took a nosedive and he earned a 65 ERA+ over 22 appearances, including 20 starts. He struck out a career-low 6.3 per nine innings, while watching his WHIP balloon to 1.519. Despite all that, he still managed to go .500, with an 8-8 record and a 6.14 ERA.
Something had to change for Conley to continue to contribute. Repurposed as a reliever, he pitched in 52 games for the 2018 Marlins, and dropped his WHIP all the way down to 1.086 with 50 K’s in 50 2/3 innings. He did this by adding an average of six MPH of velocity to his fastball and three MPH to his changeup and slider, according to MLB Statcast.
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Conley’s ERA+ reverted to his 2017 output in 2019, again clocking in at a career-worst-tying 65. He went 2-11 with a 1.731 WHIP, along with 53 whiffs in 60 2/3 innings.
Conley pitched two scoreless innings in yesterday’s Spring Training opener, a 5-3 victory over the New York Mets with 6,435 in attendance at Clover Park. He struck out Wilson Ramos to end a perfect third inning, and allowed back-to-back one-out singles to Jake Marisnick and Andres Gimenez before stranding them in the fourth.
Conley is going to be able to make somewhere between eight and 10 more appearances for the Marlins this spring. He’ll have plenty of chances to add to his impressive first appearance, and they’re determined to give him every chance to prove himself. Especially since they parted ways with left-handed relievers Jarlin Garcia and Jose Quijada.