Edinson Volquez has been dealing with a knee issue for almost a month now, and the Marlins finally placed him on the disabled list Friday.
Marlins place RHP Edinson Volquez on 10-day DL (retro to 7/6) with left knee tendinitis, select LHP Chris O'Grady from NOLA.— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) July 7, 2017
So, the team needed someone to start its game against the San Fransisco Giants Saturday night. The Marlins could have gone with the usual answers like Adam Conley and Justin Nicolino, but both have struggled in the minor leagues this season.
Instead of going with the same faces, Miami picked a new name out of the hat — Chris O’Grady.
O’Grady was a 10th round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in the 2012 MLB Draft out of George Mason University. The left-hander climbed his way through the minor leagues and made it to Triple-A in 2016 with the Angels.
However, O’Grady’s strikeouts went down and his walks went up in 2016 and on April 7 of this year (Minor League Opening Day) the Angels released him. Luckily for O’Grady, the Marlins took a chance on him, probably because he’s a lefty and can throw a baseball.
He made his first appearance with Triple-A New Orleans May 6 and pitched three scoreless innings. He followed that up with two more long relief appearances before making his first start for the Baby Cakes on May 17.
O’Grady lasted only two innings, but that would be his one and only bad start of the season. After five consecutive quality starts and a 3.29 ERA and .219 batting average allowed this season, the lefty got the call-up.
He has put-away stuff, and struck out nine in his penultimate Triple-A start, but that doesn’t mean it will translate to the big leagues. O’Grady has never appeared in a major league game and the team that drafted and groomed him suddenly gave up on him after five years.
It’s good that the Marlins are giving this young, new face a chance. We already know what we’ll get from the likes of Nicolino, Conley, Vance Worley and Odrisamer Despaigne, among others, but O’Grady is a wild card. Miami is going with the young arm, not knowing what could happen.
Chris O’Grady could be really good, but he could also be just another below-average arm, and that’s ok. What’s important is that this move could show that the organization may finally start to move on from the arms that are going nowhere fast.