2016 stats: 4-9, 6.13 ERA, 83.2 IP, 4 Quality Starts, 1.43 WHIP, 6.2 K/9, 0.2 WAR
The beginning of 2016 saw Jose Urena report for Spring Training with a shot, albeit a long one, at making the Opening Day rotation. In the end, he would only start one spring game, against the Braves on March 10th, with the rest of his appearances coming out of the bullpen.
Urena failed to blow anyone away by posting a 5.40 ERA over 8.1 innings, and he was subsequently sent to Triple-A New Orleans to start the season. It would not be long before he made his first major league appearance in 2016, though, as he was recalled on April 21st, one day before allowing two runs in 1.2 innings in San Francisco.
That outing foreshadowed the rest of Urena’s 2016 season, overall, as the right-hander suffered a sophomore slump this past season and struggled to achieve any real consistency.
Urena did not start for Miami until being recalled from the minors for the second time in the middle of July but, by then, he was allowing 7.52 runs per nine innings after an unsuccessful 20.1 frames in the bullpen during April and May.
Things improved from there, but Urena’s inconsistency became even more apparent. Of his 12 starts in 2016, he allowed two runs or fewer in six of them, but coughed up five or more in five of the other six.
Without a doubt, Urena’s crowning moment this past season was his September start against the Dodgers, in which he was one out away from recording a shutout before being pulled after 108 pitches. He would then finish the year by allowing 17 earned runs over his next, and final, ten innings.
Walks were down and strikeouts were up for Urena in 2016, but apart from that, he did not have a season to write home about. Regardless, he may well see more time in the rotation in 2017 due to the lingering questions surrounding Miami’s starting five. The now 25 year-old showed a lot of promise last season, but consistency is what wins championships, or, more realistically for the Marlins, secures winning seasons.
There are definitely things to like about Jose Urena as a Marlins supporter, and the team does seem keen to hold onto him for now. If he is able to settle into an effective rhythm which lasts for more than just one start at a time, he can become a valuable asset for the Marlins. If not, then cross one rotation solution from the list.