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Marlins acquire Andrew McKirahan In Rule-5 Draft

After trading Dan Jennings to the White Sox, the Marlins looked to find his replacement as they picked left-handed Andrew McKirahan in the Rule-5 draft.

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Hidden through the madness of the 24 hours for the Marlins franchise, Miami made a move to further strengthen their bullpen by adding left-handed hurler Andrew McKirahan during the Rule 5 draft. While it may be coincidental, the addition of McKirahan would seem to fit into a hole that was created after they dealt fellow lefty Dan Jennings to the White Sox in exchange for Andre Rienzo.

A product of the University of Texas, McKirahan was taken in the 21st round of the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Because of his veteran status compared to most other draft picks, McKirahan was able to maneuver his way up the team's minor league system. After grinding his way in A-ball during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, McKirahan was able to make a smooth transition to Chicago's double-A affiliate, the Tennessee Smokies, in 2014. While with the Smokies, McKirahan stood as an extremely consistent left-handed reliever as he maintained a solid 1.18 WHIP.

Perhaps the best element of McKirahan's role as a relief pitcher is that he's able to maintain a lethal fastball without sacrificing giving up too many walks. In 2014, McKirahan was able to maintain a tremendous 54-17 K-BB during his separate stints with A+ and AA. As far as that aforementioned fastball, he's showcased an ability to throw up to 95-96 mph, which would make him one of the hardest throwing pitchers in the team's bullpen.

Besides his solid fastball, McKirahan does possess a fringe-level breaking ball, which would probably have to improve for him to become a stable member of any big-league bullpen, let alone the Miami Marlins.

Despite that, the addition of McKirahan gives Mike Redmond and the rest of the Marlins organization a stable left-handed reliever that they can take a look at during Spring Training. While he doesn't have the pedigree of Dan Jennings, the odds are definitely in McKirahan's favor if the team doesn't land another left-handed arm.