Throughout the 2016-17 offseason, Fish Stripes is counting down the top 100 Marlins of all-time. For comparison’s sake, we are using the Wins Above Replacement (WAR) metric as a measuring device. The top 100 WAR ratings are being featured. Today’s Marlin, Luis Antonio Colon Aquino, earned 3.2 while with Florida.
Aquino was born on May 19th, 1964 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. After going undrafted, he signed on with the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 1981. A 6’, 155 lb. right-handed pitcher, he went 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA for the team in a short call-up in 1986.
Traded by the Jays to the Kansas City Royals for Juan Beniquez in 1987, he would make his next Major League appearance in 1988. For parts of five seasons, Aquino was a long and middle reliever, as well as a spot starter for the Royals. In 114 career games for the team, he posted a 22-19 record with a 3.54 ERA. Aquino also appears on the Royals list, coming in at number 80.
The Florida Marlins purchased Aquino's contract from Kansas City just prior to their inaugural 1993 season, making Aquino an original Marlin. He would pitch for two seasons with the team.
In 1993, Aquino compiled a 6-8 record, a 1.401 WHIP, and a 3.42 ERA. He pitched in 38 games, 13 of them starts. In 110.2 innings pitched, he struck out 67. The club, 64-98 overall, went 12-26 in Aquino’s appearances versus 52-72 when he sat out.
On April 24th, Aquino got his first win of the season by pitching seven shutout innings, striking out four Rockies in a 2-1 triumph over expansion sibling Colorado. On May 16th, he earned no decision, although he pitched eight shutout innings and allowed only three hits. He also struck out four Cardinals in the eventual, 1-0 loss to St. Louis. Aquino earned his third win of the season on June 5th, giving up a single run over eight innings as the Fish defeated the San Diego Padres, 3-1. On August 22nd, he allowed Brett Butler to hit a game-tying home run in an eventual 7-6 loss.
Just goes to show you. Even the worst home run hitter in baseball can still beat you. - Aquino
1994 saw Aquino allow a team-leading 6.9 hits per nine innings pitched while posting a 2-1 record and a 3.73 ERA in 50.2 innings. Unlike in the season just past, he played nearly all of his games out of the bullpen, getting into 28 games in relief and making just one start. He ranked third on the team with a 1.204 WHIP, led the club with 0.5 HR/9, and struck out just 22 batters. Miami’s strike-shortened 51-64 record would be aided in Aquino’s appearances with a 12-17 mark, against a 39-47 mark when he didn’t play.
Aquino pitched well on May 24th, pitching 3.1 shutout innings and collecting three strikeouts against the Montreal Expos, although the Marlins ultimately lost by an 11-1 count. On May 28th, he pitched a perfect sixth inning, striking out two Giants in a 3-2 Miami victory over San Francisco. In an 8-7 win over the Cincinnati Reds on July 20th, Aquino gave up just a single in 3.1 innings of relief, helping the Marlins stay in the game after starter David Weathers allowed five runs in just 1.2 innings. In three innings of relief on July 26th, Aquino gave up just a single, and kept the Phillies scoreless through the 10th inning. His moxy ended up allowing the Marlins to eventually come back for a 10-8, 12-inning win. On August 9th, he pitched two perfect innings against the Cardinals, as the Marlins took a 5-3 decision.
For his Marlins career, Aquino compiled an 8-9 record over 67 games. He allowed 8.6 hits per nine innings and posted an ERA of 3.51, with a 1.339 WHIP, 89 strikeouts in 161.1 innings, and a 3.96 FIP. He left the Marlins via free agency after the 1994 season.
Aquino split 1995 between the Montreal Expos and the San Francisco Giants. Released by the Giants before seasons end, Aquino was signed by the Boston Red Sox but never appeared in any games for the team, being released just 18 days later.