September is literally right around the corner, and for major league baseball teams, this provides the opportunity to beef up for the playoff push (or, if you’re among the unfortunate not in the race, to see what some of the kids in your system have to offer).
The Marlins, despite the deflating sweep at the hands of the NL East leading Washington Nationals, are still very much alive in the playoff hunt, so they will be looking to bring in some talent to augment what they’ve already got going on (and maybe, in the case of a couple starting pitchers, to supplant entirely).
So let’s take a look at who we’ll see on the field in the final month of the season!
We already knew Dillon Peters was making his major league debut to start on Friday against the Phillies at home. His arrival coincides perfectly with the roster expansion, and as the Marlins appear to have three open spots on the 40 man, slotting him in wont be an issue.
What to expect from Mr. Peters? Since joining Jacksonville earlier this year, he has pitched to a sparkling 1.97 ERA/0.96 WHIP in 45 and two third’s innings. The left-hander is particularly devastating against his southpaw brethren, holding them to a meager .059 batting average this season, but, as you can guess from his overall ERA, he’s also been good against righties, with a .237 batting average against.
Making the jump from Double-A to the majors is tricky, but certainly not unprecedented, and it’s hard to imagine he wont at least be initially more effective than, say, Vance Worley has been as of late. He’s also freshly 25 as of today (happy birthday!!! please be good), which makes him a little older than the average Double-A player and may help him in the mental adjustment realm. Simply put, there are reasons to be optimistic that he can help.
Anderson is another guy who would have to be added to the 40-man, and it would be an upset at this point if he weren’t. A consensus top position prospect in the system entering the season, all Anderson has done since has continue to rake, with 22 home runs and 80 runs driven in between Jacksonville and New Orleans and sporting a robust .351/.424/.623 triple slash line with the Baby Cakes.
He’s primarily a third baseman but can also spell at second and first base. With Martin Prado slowly making his way back and targeting a late September return at this point, Anderson could be in line for a timeshare with Derek Dietrich at third base and/or taking up some of the first base playing time at the expense of guys like Tyler Moore and Tomas Telis.
Unlike the first two players mentioned, Guerrero is already on the 40-man roster so if space had filled up for whatever reason, we could still see him make appearances for the Fish in September.
By now, you are probably familiar with Guerrero’s story. Acquired at the trading deadline last season in the Andrew Cashner deal with San Diego, Guerrero offers up a blazing fastball that has reached 100 mph, and not much else. He’s been working on his secondary offerings, but command remains an issue, and he’s put up lackluster numbers since his promotion to AAA: 5.40 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP in 13.1 innings pitched. Still, he could potentially be useful in the right situation.
Despite never having yet played in the majors with the Marlins, Guerrero would actually not be making his major league debut were he to be tabbed, as he pitched two innings for the Padres in May of 2016.
Another name that has slowly been building steam is Jacksonville’s Trevor Richards.
Since joining the Marlins last season, he’s had a 2.59 ERA/1.03 WHIP over 140 innings pitched between A ball and Jacksonville, racking up 204 strikeouts and holding opponents collectively to a .212 batting average against.
Is there a massive difference between A-ball and major league hitters? Absolutely, but the Marlins are giving Peters a shot based upon his solid numbers against AA competition and Richards could receive a similiar chance.
My guess is, having already poached Peters from the playoff-bound Jumbo Shrimp, the Marlins are likely to wait on bringing Richards aboard until the AA club’s run is finished.
Gonzalez has been underwhelming both in his time as a major leaguer and as a Baby Cake; nevertheless, he’s on the 40-man and can easily serve as a mop-up/long-man in a time where the Marlins can really use the extra arm.
Cervenka’s been up and down since joining the club last season in a minor inter-division trade with the Atlanta Braves. His last three appearances he was lit up for a combined eight earned runs, resulting in his latest demotion on August 11th.
As a standing member of the 40-man, he’s likely to be called upon in mid to low leverage situations where lefties are involved, which can’t really hurt. Probably.
Hood appeared in 13 games late last season for the Marlins, where he didn’t do much. At 27 years old, he’s your prototypical AAAA filler at this point, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t capable of providing the Cole Gillespie role should (heaven forbid) something happen to one of the three All-Star outfielders (and 43 year old Ichiro! needing a breather as a result). The Marlins, presumably, have kept him around on the 40-man for precisely that potential occurrence.
The Injury Returns
Justin Bour is working diligently to return from his oblique injury. He is nearing a rehab assignment and should be back with the club by mid-September.
Wei-Yin Chen pitched in Jupiter yesterday where he threw 31 pitches over one and two third’s innings. He appears on course for a mid-September return.
Martin Prado is also working hard to rehab the knee he had surgery on in late July. He is hoping for a late September return.
Nick Wittgren went on the DL in late July for elbow tenderness. He himself has stated that his best case scenario would be to pitch in a game again this season, which would seem to place him in the mid to late September range.