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All-Time Marlins Countdown: Chapter 45

Hall of Famer Tim Raines is featured with today’s group of five Marlins.

Diamondbacks v Marlins Photo by Eliot Schechter/Getty Images

The Florida and Miami Marlins have employed 630 players in a regular season game through their first 28 seasons.

This offseason-long, 165-part series is focused on touching base with each of them. Today’s group of five had between 75 and 249 plate appearances/batters faced and finished the Marlins’ leg of their playing careers slightly below replacement level, according to Baseball Reference.

355. Cristhian Martínez

Cristhian Martínez is a six-foot-one right-handed hitting and throwing pitcher from Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. In 2003, Martínez signed his first professional deal with the Detroit Tigers, at the age of 21. Before getting to the majors, the Marlins took him in the 2006 rule 5 draft. In 2008, with the High-A Jupiter Hammerheads, he led the Florida State League by allowing only 1.34 walks per nine innings.

Florida Marlins Photo Day Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images

In 2009, Martínez made his major league debut for the Marlins, and appeared in 15 games out of the bullpen. In 26 13 innings, he struck out 18 and allowed 15 runs on 27 hits and eight walks for a 1.329 WHIP. On August 2, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies, he struck out four over two shutout innings, allowing only one hit.

Just a week into the 2010 season, Martínez was selected off waivers by the Atlanta Braves. He played four seasons with them in total, appearing in his final contest in early 2013. He went 7-8 with a 4.02 ERA in 135 appearances in total, striking out 163 in 206 innings.

354. Tim Raines

Sanford, Florida native Tim Raines is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. A five-foot-eight, switch-hitting left-fielder, Raines was taken in the fifth round of the draft in 1977 out of Seminole High School by the Montreal Expos. Two years later, he made his major league debut for he team.

Raines played a dozen seasons for the Expos, making the All Star team every year from 1981 through 1987. He hit .301/.391/.437 with 96 home runs, 556 RBI, and stole 635 bases for the North-of-the-Border outfit. Notably, he drew 793 walks while striking out 569 times.

Raines followed his time with the Expos with five seasons for the Chicago White Sox, three for the New York Yankees, one for the Oakland Athletics, and a season split between the Expos and the Baltimore Orioles. In 2002, for his 23rd major league season, he joined the Marlins at the age of 42.

Marlins Media Day X

Raines appeared in 98 games for Florida, going 17-for-89 from the plate with three doubles and a home run, with seven RBI. He drew 22 walks against 19 strikeouts, scoring nine runs. Raines didn’t tempt a stolen base while with the club. As most of Raines’ appearances were as a pinch-hitter, he only spent 43 13 innings in the outfield, making 10 putouts, one assist, and one error.

After his retirement, Raines continued to find work in baseball, starting as the manager of the High-A Brevard County Manatees for the Marlins in the Florida State League. He last appeared in 2013 as the minor league outfield and baserunning coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays.

353. Jordany Valdespin

Jordany Valdespin, from San Pedro de Macoris, is a six-foot outfielder. In 2007, he signed with the New York Mets on his first professional deal at the age of 18. Five years later, he graduated the feeder system to the parent club, and played in 160 games for them over two years. He hit .219/.271/.380 with 12 homers, 40 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. After the 2013 season, he signed with the Marlins through free agency.

Valdespin played in 61 games at the Triple-A level with the New Orleans Zephyrs in 2014, splitting his time with the Marlins. For Miami, he appeared in 52 games, going 21-for-98 from the plate. He hit two doubles, a triple, and three homers with 10 RBI. He drew nine walks, scored eight runs, and struck out 16 batters. In 2015, he only played in two games for Miami, going 0-for-four with one strikeout.

Miami Marlins v Boston Red Sox

Defensively, Valdespin made 16 putouts in 59 13 innings in the outfield. On August 29, 2013, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, he had his best game with the Marlins by WPA. In the seventh inning, he hit a pinch-homer to tie the game at two, but the Marlins eventually lost, 5-2.

The Marlins released Valdespin in August 2015. He never got back to the majors, playing minor league ball with the Toledo Mud Hens for the Detroit Tigers system in 2016 and spending 2019 with the Rochester Red Wings in the Minnesota Twins system in 2019. He is getting reps for Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League as of this article.

352. Ron Mahay

Ron Mahay is a six-foot-two left-handed pitcher from Crestwood, Illinois. In 1991, the Boston Red Sox spent an 18th round selection on him out of South Suburban College. By 1997, he was in the majors with the parent club.

Mahay played two seasons with the Red Sox at the major league level, then spent another two with the Oakland Athletics. On May 11, 2000, the Marlins purchased his contract from Oakland.

Florida Marlins v Baltimore Orioles

Mahay came out of the bullpen for Florida 18 times, going 1-0 with a 6.04 ERA. He pitched 25 13 innings, and allowed 17 runs on 31 hits and 16 walks, while striking out 27. He got 59 percent of his 461 pitches over the plate while with the club, collecting swinging strikes on 13 percent of them. On June 12, Mahay pitched two hitless shutout innings, striking out three in a 5-2 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. Florida granted his free agency following the campaign.

Later, Mahay spent two seasons with the Chicago Cubs, five with the Texas Rangers, one year with the Atlanta Braves, and a year-and-a-half each with the Kansas City Royals and the Minnesota Twins.

351. Henry Rodríguez

Henry Rodríguez is the first of two such-named players to appear for the Marlins through their history. I touched on the second one way back in Chapter 5.

This Henry Rodríguez is a six-foot-one, left-handed left fielder from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him to his first pro deal in 1985 while he was still 17-years-old.

It took seven years, but Rodríguez made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 1992. He also appeared with the Montreal Expos and the Chicago Cubs before making his way to the Marlins. He made the National League All Star Team for Montreal in 1996. At the 2000 trade deadline, the Cubs traded him to the Marlins for Dave Noyce and Ross Gload.

Rodríguez appeared in 36 games for the Marlins through the second half of that season, going 29-for-108 with six doubles, two homers, and 10 RBI. He drew 14 walks, scored 10 runs, and struck out 23 times. Defensively, he made 40 putouts and an assist in 223 innings in the outfield without an error, mostly in left.

On August 9, in a 5-4 win against the Houston Astros, Rodríguez hit a pinch-double to left field, moving Dave Berg to third base before scoring the walk-off run on a Luis Castillo single. The Marlins moved on from Rodríguez following the season.

Later, Rodríguez signed with the New York Yankees and the Montreal Expos. He played his final pro season in 2006 for the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League, where he hit .287/.349/.442 with 12 homers and 59 RBI.