The Marlins traded beloved first baseman Justin Bour to the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday after he was claimed on waivers.
Bour was an absolute steal by the Marlins from the Cubs in the the minor league phase of the 2013 Rule 5 draft. In his time in Miami from 2014 through today, Bour slashed .262/.346/.470. His batting average plummeted this season to .227, but he was able to maintain a respectable .346 on-base percentage along with 19 home runs.
The Marlins acquired minor league left-handed pitcher McKenzie Mills in the deal. Mills was not on the Phillies MLB Pipeline top 30 prospects list in the midseason update, but he was ranked No. 22 in the preseason rankings. He has a high-80s/ low-90s fastball with an above average curveball and changeup. This year, Mills has a 3.51 ERA and 85 strikeouts through 89 2⁄3 innings in High-A Clearwater. Mills will be reporting to Double-A Jacksonville.
By agreeing to send some cash to the Phillies, the Fish secured a prospect with major league potential. It only shows that the Marlins front office is prioritizing getting young talent to create a solid foundation for the franchise in the years to come.
Here are highlights from one of Mills’ games in April, courtesy of 2080 Baseball.
In a corresponding move for the Bour trade, the Marlins purchased the contract of outfielder Rafael Ortega from Triple-A New Orleans. Ortega has played in the Majors before in brief stints with the Padres and the Angels. Ortega slashed .275/.375/.404 with 22 extra-base hits in 92 games in Triple-A New Orleans this year. He will be playing left field tonight while Derek Dietrich is moved to first base.
Expect Dietrich and Rojas to receive the bulk of the work at first base until Garrett Cooper returns from the disabled list. Cooper is expected to begin a rehab assignment soon and suit up for the Marlins by the beginning of September along with rookie center fielder Lewis Brinson.
In other news, recently demoted closer Kyle Barraclough has been put on the 10-day DL with a lower back stiffness. Barraclough has been struggling mightily since the beginning of July in which he’s had a 12.34 ERA and 4 blown saves.
The corresponding move is the reinstatement of Drew Rucinski from the 10-day DL. Before he went down to a groin strain, Rucinski had a 3.12 ERA and a sparkling 0.865 WHIP in 17 1⁄3 innings in a long relief role. He will add some much needed depth to the unexperienced Marlins bullpen.
Thank you for reading, until next time!