The Marlins have signed 33-year old righty swinging SS/2B Gil Velazquez to a minor league deal and they have sent him to AAA-ball. He played in 27 games in AAA-ball for the Yankees earlier this year and he was 13 for 75 (.173 avg, .426 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs. Velazquez played in 19 games for the Marlins last year and he was 13 for 56 (.232 avg, .496 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers and 2 RBIs. He has now played in 32 games in his first four years in the majors and he is 17 for 72 (.236 avg, .503 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 0 homers and 4 RBIs. Velazquez won’t help the Marlins much even if he gets to the majors in 2013.
The Marlins have designated 34-year old righty reliever Jon Rauch. Rauch pitched in 15 games (0 starts) for the Marlins this year and he was 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA and a 1.80 WHIP. He has now pitched in 556 games (11 starts) in his first 11 years in the majors and he is 43-40 with 62 saves, a 3.90 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. The Marlins have called up 27-year old lefty reliever/starter Duane Below to replace Rauch on the pitching staff. Below has pitched in 8 games (all starts) in AAA-ball for the Tigers and Marlins and he is 3-4 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He has pitched in 41 games (3 starts) in his first two years in the majors and he is 2-3 with a 4.06 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Rauch shouldn’t have a hard time finding a new job, but at the same time, the Marlins won’t miss him one bit due to the way he was pitching.
Righty reliever Bryan Harvey closed out a lot of wins for the Marlins in 1993. He pitched in 59 games (0 starts) for the Marlins in 1993 and he was 1-5 with 45 saves, a 1.70 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. He gave up 45 hits and walked 13 batters while whiffing 73 of them in 69 very impressive innings in 1993. Harvey was a N.L. All-Star in 1993. He also finished 8th in the voting for the Cy Young Award and 14th in the MVP voting in the N.L. But, Harvey hurt his elbow in 1994 and it cut his career short. Harvey pitched in 72 games (0 starts) in his three years with the Marlins and he was 1-5 with 51 saves, a 2.50 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. Harvey is still #5 in saves in Marlins’ history with 51 of them.
23-year old lefty swinging Rob Brantly and 34-year old righty swinging Miguel Olivo are giving the Marlins next to nothing offensively out of the catcher position in 2013. Brantly has played in 24 games for the Marlins so far this year and he is 19 for 83 (.229 avg, .629 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 0 homers and 9 RBIs. Olivo has played in 21 games for the Marlins so far this year and he is 11 for 59 (.186 avg, .599 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 3 homers and 5 RBIs. The Marlins don’t have any better options in the minors, so they are going to try to ride out the 2013 with Brantly and Olivo behind the plate. They need these guys to start hitting the ball, pronto.
21-year old lefty swinging outfielder Christian Yelich is off to a great start in the minors for the Marlins this year. Yelich has played in 18 games in A+AA-ball so far this year and he is 25 of 78 (.321 avg, 1.005 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 3 homers, 15 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Yelich has now played in 259 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 318 of 987 (.322 avg, .901 OPS) with 169 runs scored, 30 homers, 145 RBIs and 55 stolen bases. Yelich is likely going to be the next guy called up by the Marlins when they need an outfielder….and why not? It’s not like the Marlins are going to the playoffs in 2013 anyway.
The Marlins have yanked 28-year old lefty Wade LeBlanc from the starting rotation. LeBlanc has pitched in 7 games (all starts) for the Marlins so far this year and he is 0-5 with a 6.11 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP. The Marlins are going to take 26-year old righty Tom Koehler out of the pen to replace LeBlanc in the rotation. Koehler has pitched in 6 games (0 starts) for the Marlins so far this year and he is 0-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. Koehler has now pitched in 14 games (1 start) in his first two years with the Fish and he is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Koehler won’t have to pitch too well to be better than LeBlanc.
35-year old lefty swinging LF Juan Pierre had a rough April for the Marlins, but he is getting hot in May. Pierre has played in 7 games so far this month and he is 8 for 22 (.364 avg, .891 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 0 homers, 1 RBI and 4 stolen bases. Pierre is really locked in at the plate so far in May as he has walked 5 times while only whiffing once. Pierre has now played in 31 games so far this year for the Marlins and he is 28 of 117 (.239 avg, .567 OPS) with 16 runs scored, 0 homers, 3 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Pierre has now played in 517 games in his first four years with the Marlins and he is 634 of 2,119 (.299 avg, .723 OPS) with 312 runs scored, 6 homers, 140 RBIs and 179 stolen bases. Pierre is #3 in Marlins’ history with his .299 batting average. He is also #10 in hits (634), #3 in stolen bases (179) and #2 in triples (32) in Marlins’ history. Signing Pierre over the winter was the Marlins just throwing the fans a bone. But, he is a good veteran leader, so he is likely rubbing off well on the younger players of the Marlins.
The Marlins have placed 27-year old righty swinging infielder Chris Valaika on the 15-day disabled list due to a fractured left wrist. Valaika played in 22 games for the Marlins so far this year and he was 14 for 64 (.219 avg, .605 OPS) with 4 runs scored, 1 homer and 9 RBIs. The Marlins have called up 23-year old lefty swinging 3B Derek Dietrich to replace Valaika on the roster and he will likely start at 2B at least until Donovan Solano returns to action. Dietrich played in 28 games in AA-ball so far this year for the Marlins and he was 29 for 103 (.282 avg, .913 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 4 homers, 16 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He has now played in 332 games in his first four years in the minors and he is 353 of 1,267 (.279 avg, .820 OPS) with 195 runs scored, 43 homers, 192 RBIs and 13 stolen bases. Dietrich came into this season as the Marlins’ #12 prospect according to Baseball America. He came over in the winter deal in which the Marlins dealt veteran SS Yunel Escobar to the Rays.
The Marlins have placed 25-year old righty swinging 2B Donovan Solano on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 4th due to a strained left intercostal muscle. Solano has played in 30 games for the Marlins so far this year and he is 30 for 108 (.278 avg, .657 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 1 homer, 5 RBIs and 1 stolen base. The Marlins have called up 34-year old righty swinging 2B/SS Nick Green to replace Solano on the active roster. Green has played in 8 games for the Marlins so far this year and he is 9 for 28 (.321 avg, .844 OPS) with 2 runs scored, 1 homer and 3 RBIs.
31-year old righty swinging CF Justin Ruggiano got his first legit shot in the majors to show what he could do in 2012 for the Marlins and he looked good. Ruggiano played in 91 games for the Marlins last year and he was 90 for 288 (.313 avg, .909 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 13 homers, 36 RBIs and 14 stolen bases. This year has been a little bit different for Ruggiano and not for the better. He has played in 27 games for the Fish so far this year and he is 23 for 103 (.223 avg, .684 OPS) with 13 runs scored, 4 homers, 12 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. As bad as Ruggiano has started with the bat so far this year, he is still the Marlins’ team leader in both homers and RBIs. He is also #2 in runs scored and stolen bases for the Fish so far in 2013. The Marlins need Ruggiano to get back to the productive player that he was in 2012, as they are desperate for someone to step up offensively.