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Tyler Kinley claimed off waivers by Rockies

The South Florida native impressed at times in 2019, but was poised for regression.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a dangerous time to be a hard-throwing, soon-to-be 29-year-old reliever on the Marlins 40-man roster. Days after Tayron Guerrero was claimed off waivers by the White Sox, Tyler Kinley is headed to the Rockies, the club announced Monday afternoon. This creates a new opening on the 40-man.

During his first extended major league opportunity, Kinley posted a shiny 3.65 earned run average. He was virtually unhittable down the stretch, holding opponents scoreless in 14 of his final 15 outings in 2019 with a .111 batting average against in that stretch.

2019 Marlins ERA Leaders (min. 20 IP)

Zac Gallen 2.72 3.57 36.1
Jarlin García 3.02 3.77 50.2
Austin Brice 3.43 4.87 44.2
Sergio Romo 3.58 3.88 37.2
Tyler Kinley 3.65 4.92 49.1

However, the peripherals suggest Kinley cannot sustain that run prevention without improving his control. Unaccounted for in his ERA, the right-hander allowed 12 of 27 inherited runners to score (44.4%)—that’s why his overall Win Probability Added was a net-zero.

Colorado GM Jeff Bridich explains why he believes Kinley is worth taking a flier on (h/t Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post):

“We had interest in Tyler a few years ago in trying to trade for him. We’ve thought highly of him for a number of years. We believe in his pitch mix…there’s a power element. We believe that he’s got some good secondary pitches—a slider that can work well in our ballpark. We’ve been impressed with the kid. He’s been durable.

“I feel like there’s upside there. I felt like (this) was a good way to add a guy that could factor into our major league bullpen, hopefully this year and for years to come.”

This marks the second time in the past two calendar years that the Marlins have “lost” Kinley. He was selected by the Twins in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft (later returned in May 2018).

The Marlins already had the willingness to add a more established option to their bullpen. Now, they have the roster spot for one. Reuniting with Sergio Romo is a possibility, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman:

Fish Stripes is keeping you updated on this and all other Winter Meetings developments here.