The Miami Marlins shut down Josh Johnson one start early last night, when he was pulled from his scheduled start and replaced by Wade LeBlanc in the team's eventual 3-2 victory. But it appears the Marlins will also do the same for workhorse starter Mark Buehrle, who is now reportedly shut down for his final scheduled start tomorrow in the season finale versus the New York Mets. Buehrle is reportedly not injured, and that is not surprising, as he has not made a disabled list appearance since apparently the dawn of time. At the moment, it is unknown who will replace Buehrle in the final start, though the word in the linked article states that the Marlins could piggyback Chad Gaudin and Tom Koehler to cobble up the necessary innings.
Both Marlins pitchers finish what could be considered successful 2012 seasons. For Johnson, the disappointment was in his performance, as his 3.81 ERA and lowered strikeout rates were among the worst in his career. But the success in his season lies in his 191 1/3 innings, the second-most that he has pitched in a single season. Johnson was able to make 31 starts without a hitch and showed that he could put up a healthy season on the mound. The onl question is whether he can stay healthy next year to continue a 2013 run with the Marlins, or whether the Marlins will even risk a healthy season from him and instead cash in his value after his first full season since 2009.
For Mark Buehrle, the success of 2012 is more due to his amazing consistency rather than anything else. Buehrle got past the 200-inning mark for the 12th consecutive season, easily holding the longest streak of these sort of seasons since the steroid era. Buehrle also put up his typical ERA and FIP numbers, as his 3.74 ERA and 4.19 FIP are almost identical to his career 3.82 ERA and 4.14 FIP. Unfortunately, because of the decreased run environment thanks to lower scoring and the move to the National League, Buehrle's numbers look worse when compared to the standards of today. In order for the Marlins to get their money's worth next season, Buehrle will have to perform better than he did this year, and for him, that will mean cutting down the home runs, as he posted his second-best walk rate and third-best strikeout rate of his career in concordance to the move to the NL.
Both pitchers had reasonable success for the Marlins in 2012 despite the team's overall failure. It is hard to point to either Johnson or Buehrle for the problems of this year's team, so the Fish should be happy that both will be returning next year to help anchor a young rotation.