Here’s another seven players with small parts in the history of the Miami and Florida Marlins.
Each player in today’s story is from the second tier as discussed in the series hub. That is, they all have less than 20 plate appearances or batters faced, and they all registered a WAR of 0.0.
581. Guillermo García
Guillermo García is a right-hand catcher from Santiago, Dominican Republic. He signed his first pro deal with the New York Mets in 1989 at the age of 17. He played five seasons in their system, and joined the Cincinnati Reds system in 1994. He made his major league debut for the Reds in 1998, going seven-for-36 in a dozen games. He hit two homers, collected four RBI, and struck out 13 times.
After the 1998 campaign, the Reds traded García to the Marlins for Manuel Barrios. He broke camp with the learnt club, and appeared in four of Florida’s first six games. After going one-for-two on April 6 in a 12-3 loss to the Mets, he didn’t get another hit. He closed his Marlins career one-for-four with a pair of whiffs. The Reds purchased his contract back from the Marlins on April 20.
580. Jordan Holloway
Six-foot-six right-handed pitcher Jordan Holloway was the Marlins 20th round choice in the 2014 draft. An Arvada, Colorado native, Holloway’s minor league career has been limited due to a variety of injuries. He was 13-30 with a 4.64 ERA and 245 K’s in 304 1⁄3 innings over six seasons, but never above the High-A level with the Jupiter Hammerheads in 2019.
Since the major league rosters were expanded to 28 players for the shortened 2020 season, the Marlins ended up breaking camp with Holloway in 2020. Three days later, he made his first major league appearance in an 11-6 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. With a 9-5 lead, Holloway started the fifth inning with a walk issued to Rhys Hoskins. After getting Bryce Harper to fly out, he gave up back-to-back singles to J.T. Realmuto and Didi Gregorius before getting lifted in favor of Jeff Brigham. Holloway was moved to the 10-day disabled list on August 2. To date, the 1⁄3 of an inning he pitched against the Phils remains Holloway’s only major league experience.
579. Joe Thurston
Lefty batting infielder Joe Thurston was a fourth round choice of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1999. A native of Fairfield, California, Thurston got to the majors with the Dodgers in 2002, and appeared in 37 games at the top level over parts of three seasons, getting 11 hits in 44 plate appearances. He then bounced around as a farm hand for a number of years before finally becoming a major league regular in 2009 with the St. Louis Cardinals as a second and third baseman. In 124 games that year, he hit .225/.316/.330 with 25 RBI.
Granted free agency following the 2009 campaign, Thurston spent a season as organizational depth for the Atlanta Braves the following year. 2011 would see him join the Marlins in the same role. On August 5, he made his only appearance with the parent club, playing second base and going one-for-four with a strikeout in a 3-2 loss to the Cardinals. He handled seven fielding chances without an error, turning a double play in the process.
Thurston later signed on to minor league deals with the Houston Astros, the Phillies, the Minnesota Twins, the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Boston Red Sox.
578. Gabe Gonzalez
Long Beach, California native Gabe Gonzalez is a left-handed switch-hitting pitcher. He was taken in the 16th round of the 1995 draft by the Marlins. In 1997, between the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs and the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, he pitched to a 5-4 record with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.172 WHIP in 66 games, with 52 K’s in 85 1⁄3 innings.
Gonzalez broke camp with the Marlins in 1998, and pitched in three of their first five games. He totaled one inning, faced five batters, and allowed one run on one hit and one walk. He also stranded three-of-six inherited batters. Optioned back to Charlotte in mid-April, he didn’t again make it back to the majors.
577. Deven Marrero
Infielder and Miami, Florida native Deven Marrero was a first round choice of the Boston Red Sox in 2012. Debuting in the majors with the Sox in 2015, he played in 109 games with them over the following three seasons, hitting .208/.259/.309 with five home runs and 30 RBI. He played 2018 in the Arizona Diamondbacks system, playing in 49 major league games and hitting .167.
Marrero signed with the Marlins through free agency in November, 2018. In Spring Training, it seemed he could be in the running for the opening day roster, but he ended up spending most of the year at the Triple-A level with the New Orleans Baby Cakes, playing 112 games and hitting .245/.322/.415.
The Marlins called Marrero up to the majors in August, and he appeared in five games for them from August 8 through 13. He went 0-for-five with three strikeouts, In 11 defensive innings between third base and shortstop, he handled four chances without an error. After the season ended, the Marlins granted his free agency.
576. Brian Navarreto
Brian Navarreto, of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. A right-handed catcher, Navarreto was a part of the Twins minor league system for a total of seven seasons. In 2018, he hit .246/.286/.333 in 97 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts at the Double-A level.
On July 24, 2019, the New York Yankees purchased Navarreto’s contract from the Twins, but it was really just much ado about nothing. They released him after the year, and he then signed on with the Marlins through free agency.
In a more “normal” season, Navarreto would likely have spent the year at the Triple-A level with the Wichita Wind Surge. However, this season was anything but “normal.” Navarreto spent most of the year as a depth option at catcher. He did not disappoint when called on to catch a pair of games in late-August. In five plate appearances, he went two-for-five with a strikeout. Defensively, he took 14 errorless chances in 15 innings of work, and caught one-of-two runners trying to steal. On September 3, he was outrighted to the minors.
575. Larry Sutton
Left-handed first baseman Larry Sutton is a native of West Covina, California. In 1992, he was a 21st round pick of the Kansas City Royals. He got to the majors with them in 1997, and hit .247/.314/.358 in 181 games. He played another 56 major league games over the next two seasons with the Cardinals, and hit .194/.253/.299. He went two-for-19 for the Athletics in 2002.
After taking the 2003 season off of professional baseball, Sutton signed on with the Marlins prior to 2004 Spring Training. In 91 games that year with the Albuquerque Isotopes at the Triple-A level, he hit .373/.475/.692 with 21 round-trippers and 73 RBI. Called up to the Marlins in May, he went one-for-five with a walk, an RBI, and a pair of strikeouts. Mostly used as a pinch hitter, he only logged two innings of work in the field, taking one chance at first base without an error.