While the leadership hasn't changed, the new Miami Marlins have decided they aren't going to rush any prospects to the major leagues. They have decided that each prospect has to be efficient at the minor league level before being considered for a promotion, and that they aren't in a hurry.
Coming off of a 100 loss season, the Marlins are still in rebuilding mode. And despite the fact that with rebuilding comes youth and the development of younger players, Miami has learned the hard way that being in a rush is not the ideal way to go.
With no clear team beginning to run away with the National League East, the Marlins are confident in their ability to at least keep things competitive. Washington and Atlanta have both been inconsistent, leaving one of baseball's elite divisions open for any team to take.
After losing ace Jose Fernandez to season-ending Tommy John surgery, the Marlins were thought to be considering promoting a top prospect. Andrew Heaney, who like Fernandez, figures to be an integral part of the Marlins' rotation moving forward, was a possibility. He is 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA thus far in Double-A Jacksonville.
Justin Nicolino, another left-handed starting pitching prospect, is 2-2 with a 3.11 ERA alongside Heaney in Jacksonville. But instead of promoting a raw young talent not fully prepared for the major leagues, the Marlins called upon Anthony DeSclafani, who according to Manager Mike Redmond is an under the radar type starter who could put together a solid professional career.
DeSclafani's minor league numbers weren't outstanding, but he proved in April and the first half of May that he has the ability to pitch at a high level.
With Fernandez out, the Marlins rightfully called upon DeSclafani to make a quick spot start. But after signing veteran lefty Randy Wolfe on Wednesday afternoon, it is unlikely DeSclafani will remain in the rotation long.
Fernandez was promoted because of the need for a starter to not only be available and healthy but also to pitch well. The Marlins placed him on a strict innings limit, and although he got injured, Miami has come to the realization that there is indeed no rush.
Adopting a "win now" approach, the Marlins as an organization have set standards for themselves with hopes of ending the year with a winning record. And that can be achieved without Heaney or Nicolino on the mound. Maybe it is Jeffrey Loria giving up power, or maybe it is just smarter baseball decisions. But regardless, the new Miami Marlins are a step ahead when it comes to preserving young, talented athletes.