At MarlinsNation, we work hard to bring you the latest news on our guys in teal. I wanted to start a weekly report on the minor league prospects that should be on every true MarlinsNation citizen’s radar. We are going to start with the “Fish Farm Report” which will discuss players that could help out the big fish.
This week, we are growing concerned over the lack of consistent starting pitching. There is no need to regurgitate the stats as it is clear that after Olsen and Hendrickson, the rotation is – to put it nicely – swimming belly up more times than not. The ERAs are 6.10 (Nolasco), 7.20 (Badenhop) and 9.12 (Miller) and are supposed to anchor the end of the rotation. Right now, it is taxing the bullpen and with Matt Lindstrom going down with back stiffness again, the pitching is thinning when it should be surging.
Badenhop registered a quality start his last time out against the Dodgers, but the Marlins couldn’t get the win. Nolasco blew up on the mound yesterday, but in his previous start in Milwaukee he got the win. Miller has been up and down in each start. I like Badenhop to stick as the #5 starter, and perhaps Nolasco can come around – but the Marlins cannot gamble on it for too long if they are to continue to “develop” Miller.
Here are some potential replacements that can be found in the minors. We are focusing on AA Carolina since the Marlins seem to like mainlining from their AA franchise to the bigs. The reason is simple as AAA Albuquerque plays in the Pacific Coast League which is known to be a hitter-friendly league due to the higher elevations.
1. Chris Volstad. A 2.61 ERA in 38.0IP over 6 games started should be attractive enough. Throw in 29 Ks and 10 BBs and a 1.03 WHIP and he is a worthwhile callup. The only question is do the Marlins want him to be arbitration eligible before the stadium is built (in 2011) or after? Expect to see him after the All Star break. Before if we start getting even more desperate.
2. Ryan Tucker. Probably the most impressive overall pitcher right now the Marlins have. He has an insane 1.08 ERA in 33.1 IP for his 6 game started. He also has 34 Ks and 15 BBs over that span with a 1.08 WHIP that mirrors his ERA. He is getting it done.
3. Brett Sinkbeil. Was looking good recently until his latest start – 7 ERs in 6 IP. His ERA is currently at 4.41 and he has given up 17 ERs on the year in his 34.2 IP. He has dropped a bit in consideration at this time mostly because of his latest outing but also he has 14Ks and 13BBs on the year. That doesn’t translate so well at the MLB level. If he can right the ship and turn it around, he may indeed prove to be a solid addition – if the Marlins get desperate enough.
4. William Glen. At 30 years of age, he is a veteran still trying to catch on with a big league club. His numbers show his maturity; he has moonlighted back and forth as a starter and a reliever. His numbers as a starter – in 3 games so far – are looking pretty good. He might project as a middle relief guy for the Marlins, but still someone to keep on our radar. 14 Ks in 13 IP and only 7 BBs as a starter with a 2.77 ERA.
5. Rick Vandenhurk. Don’t forget about Rick Vandenhurk, the guy pitched very well last season while toiling in AA Carolina and got a call up. He had a solid spring and won a spot in the rotation but was quickly jettisoned after he was shelled and his location was spotty. Sound familiar? Andrew Miller fans should recognize that description, although it is [painfully] obvious that the Marlins are not going to rush to judgement on their big trade acquisition. Vandenhurk currently is on the DL with upper arm tenderness which the Marlins don’t feel to be too serious.