Sitting in Marlins Park on Sunday afternoon watching the Milwaukee Brewers score three runs in the first inning, two in the second inning, and another in the third inning off of 37-year old journeyman Randy Wolf was difficult to stomach. Given his age and waning velocity, certainly Wolf is not in the Miami Marlins' long-term plans.
There is another lefty who is in the club's long-term plans, however.
Andrew Heaney, the ninth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, entered the 2014 season as the Marlins undisputed top overall prospect. According to fantasy baseball writer Jason Hunt, Heaney's fastball sits consistently in the mid-90s and he has an above average slider and an improving change-up.
Heaney started 2014 at Double-A Jacksonville, going 4-2 with a 2.35 ERA in eight starts, with one relief appearance. In his first start after being promoted to Triple-A New Orleans, Heaney struck out seven batters in five innings while giving up only one run.
Of course, the Marlins must be cognizant from a front office perspective not to start Heaney's free agent clock too soon if they don't need to, but physically, he appears to be ready to face Major League batters. The Marlins have not had a young lefty come in and make major waves since Dontrelle Willis, but Heaney has the potential to step in during the second half of 2014 and contribute.
No one is expecting him to duplicate Jose Fernandez' historic 2013 Rookie of the Year season, but he would certainly be a step up from an aging Randy Wolf.