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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 41

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

The Florida and Miami Marlins have been around for 28 seasons now, long enough for 630 players to take the field in a regular season game.

In this offseason-long series, we’ll be touching on every one of them, Marlins past and present. The five players featured in today’s story all had between 75 and 249 plate appearances/batters faced, and finished the Marlins’ portion of their careers below replacement level, according to baseball reference.

375. Todd Linden

Todd Linden is a switch-hitting outfielder from Edmonds, Washington. In 2001, he was taken in the first round of the draft, with the 41st overall choice by the San Francisco Giants out of Louisiana State University. Just two years later, he made his major league debut for them, and played four-and-a-half seasons for them in total. He slashed out a .217/.288/.324 line with seven jacks and 28 RBI.

The Florida Marlins claimed Linden off waivers on May 18, 2007 from San Francisco. He ended up playing in 85 contests for the Fish, going 35-for-129 from the plate with seven doubles, a triple, and a homer with eight RBI. He drew 14 walks, stole four bases without getting caught, scored 15 runs, and struck out 36 times.

Florida Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

Defensively, Linden spent 184 23 innings in the outfield, mostly in left. In total, he made 40 plays without an error for a perfect fielding percentage. On September 12, coming in to pinch hit in a 4-4 tie with the Washington Nationals, Linden drove home Reggie Abercrombie with the walk-off game-winner.

Linden was granted free agency following the season, later signing through free agency with the Oakland Athletics. Although he never got back to the majors, he spent the next six seasons between the minors (with the A’s, the Cleveland Indians, the New York Yankees, and the Giants), international league play (Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles), and independent league play (Edmonton Capitals).

374. Oswaldo Mairena

Left-handed pitcher Oswaldo Mairena is a five-foot-11 product of Chinandega, Nicaragua. In 1996, he signed his first professional deal with the New York Yankees, just a few days past his 21st birthday.

Mairena worked his way up through the Bombers system for four years before they traded him to the Chicago Cubs near the trade deadline, with Ben Ford for Glenallen Hill. It was with the North-siders for whom Mairena made his major league debut soon afterward, pitching two innings and allowing four runs on seven hits and a pair of walks in 2000.

Prior to the 2001 campaign, the Cubs traded Mairena to the Marlins for Manny Aybar. Split between Florida’s two highest affiliates, Mairena racked up 8.6 K’s per nine innings over 73 23 frames.

Mairena joined the Marlins at the parent club-level in May, and appeared in 31 games for them through the rest of the season. He posted a 2-3 record with a 5.35 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 33 23 innings, and a 1.485 WHIP. He put 63 percent of his 575 pitches over the plate and only walked 12 for a 3.2 BB/9.

In 2003, Mairena spent the entire season at Florida’s Triple-A level with the Albuquerque Isotopes. Granted free agency after the season, he didn’t again appear in affiliated ball.

373. Brett Graves

Brett Graves is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from St. Charles, Missouri. In 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals took him in the 26th round out of high school. Instead of signing with them, he played three seasons of college ball with the University of Missouri. In three seasons with the Tigers he posted a 9-16 record and a 4.39 ERA. The Oakland Athletics spent their third round pick on him in the 2014 draft.

Graves spent four seasons working his way up through the A’s system. After the 2017 season, they left him unprotected, and the Marlins picked him up in the rule 5 draft.

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, Graves pitched in 21 contests for the Marlins out of the bullpen. He whiffed 21 in 33 13 innings, giving up 41 hits and 12 walks. On July 28, he earned his first major league victory in relief, pitching a perfect 10th inning while striking one batter out in a 2-1 victory against the Washington Nationals.

In total, Graves put 61 percent of his 533 offerings over the plate, with a 10 percent swinging strike rate. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout at the plate, and made seen fielding plays without an error. In 2019 between the New Orleans Baby Cakes and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, he went 5-5 with a 2.60 ERA in 45 relief appearances, with 73 K’s in 62 13 innings and a respectable 1.123 WHIP. Although he’s not a part of the Marlins 40-man roster, he remains a part of the organization according to The Baseball Cube.

372. Reed Johnson

Riverside, California native Reed Johnson played 13 seasons in the major leagues, the 12th with the Miami Marlins in 2014. A five-foot-10, right-hander out of California State University, he was originally drafted in the 17th round in 1999 by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Before making his way to Miami, Johnson played for the Jays, the Chicago Cubs, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Atlanta Braves. In 1,190 contests prior to joining the Marlins, he slashed .282/.339/.409 with 63 round-trippers and 380 RBI, along with 41 stolen bases. Just before 2014 Spring Training, the Marlins signed him through free agency.

Johnson played in 113 games for Miami in 2014, hitting .235/.266/.348 with two homers and 25 RBI. He struck out 37 times in 201 plate appearances, drawing only one walk. He went 44-for-187 with 15 doubles and scored 24 times. In 236 innings in the outfield, mostly in left, he made 42 putouts and four assists, with one error for a .979 fielding percentage. On April 26, with two on and two out in the sixth inning, he hit a pinch-two-RBI-double to give the Marlins a 6-5 lead over the New York Mets. The Marlins eventually won that game, 7-6 in 10 innings.

Johnson departed via free agency following the season, and went on to sign with the Nationals for the 2015 season, going five-for-22 in 17 games.

371. Anthony DeSclafani

Anthony DeSclafani is a right-handed pitcher from Freehold, New Jersey. In 2011, the Toronto Blue Jays chose him in round six of the draft out of the University of Florida. In his only season in their system, he posted a 3.37 ERA and an 11-3 record in 21 starts for the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts. After the 2012 campaign, he was traded to the Marlins in a nine-player deal that also involved Henderson Alvarez and Mark Buehrle.

Oakland at Miami David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Two seasons later, DeSclafani made his major league debut with the Marlins. He began the year as the number five prospect in the system, and started in five of his 13 appearances, striking out 26 in 33 innings and going 2-2 with a 6.27 ERA. He gave up 23 earned runs on five walks and 40 hits, getting 68 percent of his 548 pitches in the strike zone. At the plate, he went one-for-10 with two RBI, one walk, one run, and three strikeouts, and made three fielding plays without an error.

After the season, the Marlins sent DeSclafani with Chad Wallach to the Cincinnati Reds for Mat Latos. He’s since gone 35-37 with a 4.19 ERA and 556 K’s in 623 13 innings. DeSclafani was granted free agency a month ago.