The Miami Marlins won’t be playing any baseball until probably early June.
In the meantime, we’re left with a host of questions about what the opening day roster is going to look like. Ryne Stanek is a pitcher that the Miami Marlins have a few questions about.
Ryne Stanek is a six-foot-four, 225 lb. right-handed relief pitcher from Overland Park, KS. Born on July 26th, 1991, Stanek was initially taken in the third round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Entry Draft by the Seattle Mariners.
Instead of signing with Seattle, Stanek went to the University of Arkansas and posted a steadily improving bottom line through his three seasons of collegiate baseball. From 2011 (4-2, 3.94) through 2012 (8-4, 2.82) into 2013 (10-2, 1.39). His advanced metrics were steady through college, falling at a three-year average of 1.18 WHIP, a 6.98 H/9, and 7.19 K/9.
Draft stock thus improved, Stanek was plucked off the Razorbacks in the first round of the 2013 draft by the Tampa Bay Rays, with the 29th overall choice. He worked his way up through their minor league feeder affiliate farm system quickly enough to make his major league debut in May, 2017.
In 121 games over parts of three major league seasons with the Rays, Stanek went 2-5 with a 3.55 ERA and 171 whiffs in 142 innings. He started 56 times as the “opener,” and kept the opposition to a WHIP of 1.225. Over the course of his American League career, Stanek was much tougher on lefties, holding them to a .629 OPS versus a mark of .751 against right-handers.
Prior to the 2019 trade deadline, the Miami Marlins sent starter Trevor Richards and reliever Nick Anderson to the Rays for Stanek and outfield prospect Jesus Sanchez. After joining the Marlins, he performed as less-than advertised. He struck out 28 in 21 1/3 innings for an 11.8 K/9, but also walked 19 and surrendered 17 hits for a WHIP of 1.688. He had five save opportunities for the Marlins, but only managed to nail one of those down for a save percentage of just 20 percent. He went 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA, only slightly off his 5.70 FIP.
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Stanek was solid in four spring training innings, allowing one hit and giving up one walk while striking out four batters. Unfortunately, he put a strain on his lower back at some point near the end of it.
"He’s in the mode of we’ve got to get him stronger and get back on the mound. Of course, we’ve got to get him good. That lower back is something obviously for a pitcher or anyone. – Don Mattingly, on Stanek per Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald"
While the COVID-19 virus has ground everything to a halt, including early-season baseball, at least it has afforded Stanek the time he needs to rehabilitate his back without undue pressure. He’ll likely be ready for a mid-May opening day.