As first reported by Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald Sunday morning, the Marlins have designated right-handed reliever Brian Ellington for assignment. Additionally, they have selected the contract of former Phillies prospect Severino Gonzalez and optioned outfielder Braxton Lee to Triple-A New Orleans. Finally, right-hander Trevor Richards will be added to the active roster Monday to face the Boston Red Sox in his MLB debut, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro.
Ellington, the Gainesville, Florida native, was selected in the 16th round of the 2012 MLB draft by the Marlins. He has pitched more than 100 innings with the Marlins organization. He utilized his velocity and pitch placement well in his first two seasons with the Marlins, keeping an ERA of 2.88 in 2015 and 2.45 in 2016. However, he struggled severely last season with an ERA of 7.25. He had been dealing with biceps soreness during spring training, leading to his demotion Triple-A to open 2018.
Gonzalez was once expected to be a significant role in the Phillies rebuild. At the Double-A level in 2013, González had a 2.00 ERA with 119 strikeouts over 103.6 innings pitched. He was awarded the Paul Owens Award as the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
However, his success has mostly stalled out around the Double-A level. When he pitched for the Phillies in 2016, he had a 5.60 ERA and 8.66 K/9 over 35.1 innings. He went 80 innings in the Marlins farm system last season, with a 6.52 ERA and 4.28 ERA at the Triple-A and Double-A levels, respectively.
Lee appeared in the Marlins’ Friday and Saturday games against the Cubs, going 0-for-4 with a walk and impressing with his elite speed. He skipped over Triple-A to fill out the Opening Day roster, but will now continue developing down there, perhaps until a larger role becomes available in the big leagues.
Braxton Lee with the "nah, I'll stay put...GO GO GO" reaction to a passed ball. And with the speed to pull it off easily. pic.twitter.com/VIsrkrElAi— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) April 1, 2018
The 24-year-old Richards was a spring training star, twice matching up with reigning NL Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer and out-pitching him both times. Overall, he allowed only one earned run in 12 Grapefruit League innings (0.75 ERA).
The 17-inning game on Friday forced the Marlins to turn to Jarlin García in long relief, which removed Garcia as a candidate for Monday’s start.
You can learn more about Richards here. He’s overcome incredibly long odds to arrive at this point.