Throughout the 2020-21 offseason, Fish Stripes is recapping each of the 630 players to appear in a regular season game through their first 28 seasons.
We’ve already been through 249 of them. Today’s group of six each had between 75 and 249 plate appearances/batters faced, and finished their Marlins careers with a brWAR below replacement level.
381. Josh A. Smith
Josh A. Smith was one of two men named Josh Smith to appear with the Marlins in 2020, thus the need to include a middle initial. This Smith is a native of Margate, Florida, and was originally selected in the 21st round of the draft out of Lipscomb University in 2010 by the Cincinnati Reds.
Smith debuted for the Reds at the major league level in 2015, and pitched in 41 games for them over the next two seasons, including nine starts. He then appeared in 26 games in relief for the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and played in 18 games for the Boston Red Sox in 2019, including another two starts. Prior to his Marlins career, he was 5-11 with one save, a 5.40 ERA, a 1.52 WHIP, and 132 strikeouts in 158 1⁄3 innings.
Smith signed with the Marlins through free agency after the completion of the 2019 campaign, and pitched in 16 games for Miami, including one start. He whiffed 18 in 26 1⁄3 innings, pitching to a 6.84 ERA and giving up 33 hits and 11 walks for a 1.67 WHIP. He earned his only win of the season in the second game of a doubleheader on August 25, helping to defeat the New York Mets, 3-0. He kept the Mets scoreless on three hits, striking out one in two innings of work. The Marlins granted Smith his free agency on October 29.
380. Joe Strong
Joe Strong is a switch-hitting right-handed pitcher from Fairfield, California. In 1984, the Athletics picked him in the 15th round out of the University of California. It took him 16 seasons to graduate to the major leagues.
Prior to his debut with the Florida Marlins in 2000 at the age of 37, Strong pitched in the minors for the A’s, the San Diego Padres, and the Tampa Bay Rays. From 1990 through 1992, and from 1995 through 1998, he was not a part of any major league affiliation.
Strong appeared in 18 games for the Marlins in 2000, going 1-1 with a save. In 19 2⁄3 innings, he struck out 18 and allowed 16 runs on 26 hits and a dozen walks. His best appearance, by WPA, was his debut on May 11. In a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves, Strong earned a hold by pitching 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings, surrendering only a walk.
Strong made five more appearances for the Marlins in 2001, and allowed only one run in 6 2⁄3 innings. He allowed three hits and three walks, striking out four. Overall, he struck out in his only two plate appearances, and made 10 fielding plays without an error. MIami granted his free agency following the season. Strong played four more seasons of organized baseball in independent, minor, and foreign leagues.
379. Arquimedes Caminero
Arquimedes Caminero is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 2005, he signed his first professional contract with the Florida Marlins, at the age of 17.
By 2013, at the Double-A level, Caminero struck out 68 in 52 1⁄3 innings for the Jacksonville Suns, while putting up a 1.05 WHIP. In the middle of August, he made his debut with the Marlins at the big league level. In 13 appearances, he struck out 12 in 13 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits and three walks for a 1.00 WHIP. On August 21, he struck out two in a perfect inning of relief in a 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Caminero appeared in six games for the Marlins in 2014, striking out eight batters in 6 2⁄3 innings. He gave up eight runs on eight hits and four walks. During Spring Training in 2015, the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased his contract.
Over his two seasons with Miami, Caminero racked up a 1.27 WHIP and a 5.49 ERA. He pitched in 73 games in 2015 with the Pirates, ranking 10th in the National League while putting up a 5-1 record. He split 2016 between the Pirates and the Seattle Mariners, pitching another 57 major league games.
378. Tomás Telis
Tomás Telis is a catcher out of El Tigre, Venezuela. A five-foot-eight switch-hitter, Telis signed his first professional deal to play for the Texas Rangers in 2007 just before his 18th birthday. Seven years later, he made his major league debut with them, and appeared in 24 games for them over parts of two seasons. He was 19-for-79 with 10 RBI, and caught one base-stealer in 18 opportunities.
The Rangers traded Telis to the Marlins at the 2015 trade deadline with Cody Ege for Sam Dyson. Telis then spent most of the next four seasons he Marlins Triple-A affiliate, the New Orleans Zephyrs/Baby Cakes. He also joined the Marlins at the parent-club level for a total of 98 contests.
For Miami, Telis went 39-for-173 with six doubles, three triples, and a home run with 14 RBI. Defensively, he spent just 50 innings behind the plate, making one error in 53 chances and threw out one-of-eight basestealers. He spent far more time at first base, spending 179 1⁄3 innings in the field and making only two errors in 183 chances. In the final game of the 2016 campaign, when he hit a two-run homer in the fifth and added a two-run single in the eighth as the Marlins topped the Washington Nationals, 10-7.
The Marlins granted Telis free agency following the 2019 season, and he soon afterward signed with the Minnesota Twins. He hasn’t appeared in the majors since his time with Miami.
377. Paul Bako
Paul Bako is a left-handed batting righty throwing catcher from Lafayette, Louisiana. In 1993, the Cincinnati Reds drafted him in the fifth round out of the University of Louisiana. Before getting to the majors, the Reds traded him to the Detroit Tigers with Donne Wall for Melvin Nieves.
After slashing .272/.319/.348 in 96 games for the Tigers in 1998, Bako appeared in 73 games for the Houston Astros in 1999, hitting .256/.332/.358. Bako totaled five home runs and 47 RBI.
After going 0-for-2 in one game for the Astros in 2000, the Marlins purchased Bako’s contract from Houston. In 56 games with the Fish, he went 39-for-161 with six doubles, a triple, and 14 RBI. He drew 22 walks, scored 10 runs, and struck out 48 times. He also caught 17-of-49 runners trying to steal, three percent above the National League average. The Atlanta Braves took Bako off waivers from Florida on July 21.
After his time with the Braves, Bako appeared at the major league level for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Kansas City Royals, the Baltimore Orioles, the Reds, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
376. Tim Hyers
Tim Hyers is a six-foot-one left-handed first baseman from Atlanta. In 1990, the Toronto Blue Jays spent a second round pick him him out of high school. Four years later he made his major league debut with the San Diego Padres, and later spent some time with the Detroit Tigers.
Prior to making his way to the Marlins, Hyers racked up a .215/.278/.242 slash line with seven RBI and three stolen bases. From May 7, 1996 through April 4, 1999, he did not appear in the major leagues.
A month into the 1998 season, the Marlins signed Hyers to a minor league deal, and sent him to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, where he hit .280 with seven homers in 85 contests. He opened the 1999 season on the Marlins parent club, and appeared in 58 of Florida’s first 109 games of the campaign. He went 18-for-81 from the plate, with four doubles, a triple, two homers and 12 RBI. He drew 14 walks against 11 strikeouts, and crossed the plate eight times.
Hyers totaled two home runs in a 133-game major league career, both of them on the same day. On June 6, he went four-for-five from the plate with a pair of bombs and three RBI in an 11-6 victory against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. After the close of the season, the Marlins granted free agency. He didn’t make another appearance in affiliated baseball.
Check back tomorrow as we get into the next leg of our series, and start focusing on five players daily.