Miami Marlins have a surprising new frontrunner for a rotation spot

A.J. Puk may be in the Miami Marlins rotation this season

A.J. Puk
A.J. Puk / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The Miami Marlins rotation is facing some early injury issues. The big current issue is Braxton Garrett potentially missing Opening Day. It won't affect who starts on that day, but it obviously thins out the rotation. Other than the top two spots held by Jesus Luzardo and Eury Perez. Garrett will take the third spot when he's back. What about the other two spots however?

A.J. Puk is going to be in the Miami Marlins rotation this season.

Trevor Rogers is looking good this Spring and will likely be back in the rotation. Edward Cabrera is likely to get a spot as well. This seems to leave no spot for any other starters, but with Garrett's injury someone has to step up. The frontrunner is A.J. Puk. I wasn't particularly high on that originally, but I'm starting to warm up on that possibility.

A.J. Puk is a frontrunner for a Miami Marlins rotation spot this season. I'm still a bit in shock of that happening, as for a stretch last season he looked like a shutdown closer. I still worry about the blow to the bullpen that comes with Puk no longer being in the mix. It is however possible that Puk delivering in the rotation, is going to make up for that loss.

One big concern that I have with A.J. Puk is his injury history and lack of a track record of innings. He's never pitched for more than 66.1 innings in a season, last doing that in 2022. He also never pitched as a starting pitcher in the Majors. He has a career 3.72 ERA/3.59 FIP, with 11.2 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9, in 142 games and 147.2 innings pitched. The strikeout rate has been great throughout his career and he cut down his walks from 4.1 in 2021, to 3.1 in 2022 and finally 2.1 in 2023.

I'm curious to see how he does as a starting pitcher this season. I don't expect him to get too many innings. He will definitely be on an innings limit and will likely go back to the bullpen, once Braxton Garrett is back. That said, if Rogers or Cabrera struggles, or if Garrett isn't back quickly enough, Puk may get more time. We'll see how god he will do in that role. He's done well in Spring Training so far.

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