In Fish Stripes' continued attempt to remind people of the past of the Florida Marlins along with the present and future of the Miami Marlins, we bring you a new feature published three or so times a week entitled This Day In Marlins History! The concept itself is very simple: whenever we publish this, we find an interesting fact or tidbit related to the Florida / Miami Marlins and write a little bit about that event.
On this date, May 10, 1984, Marlin reliever Edward Mujica was born!
Mujica arrived on the big league scene in 2006 for the Cleveland Indians, but he got sporadic playing time. He was finally sent to the San Diego Padres, where he really got his chance to play. In 163 2/3 innings of pitching primarily out of the bullpen, Mujica posted a 3.86 ERA and gave up 28 home runs in that time span, including 14 in almost 70 innings in 2010. He also walked only 25 guys, meaning he gave up three more homers than walks while playing for San Diego.
Then he finally arrived in Miami as part of the Cameron Maybin trade that sent Maybin to the Padres for Mujica and Ryan Webb.Mujica has spent a season and change with the Fish and done halfway decently. In 2011, he posted a 2.96 ERA with a 3.20 FIP, and his ground ball rate went up to 48 percent along with decent strikeout and walk peripherals. In 2012, his strikeouts are down and his walks are up, but he has lowered his ERA down to respectable levels.
Mujica made his way up from being the seventh inning guy up to the dependable eighth inning reliever and even temporarily up to the closer role, as Mujica got some looks this year to close games. It is good that he was able to become a worthwhile piece of the bullpen, because the Marlins are certainly looking at Cameron Maybin in San Diego and wondering what could have been had the team stuck with him a little while longer. While the move was understandable given Maybin's questionable ability to maintain big league-level hitting, the team simply did not go for enough return by getting two relievers back. However, at least Mujica delivered has delivered at least one Win Above Replacement (WAR) for the Fish in the face of Maybin's successful and unsurprising 2011 season.