We know that the COVID-19 outbreak on the Marlins has depleted their lineup, taking Jorge Alfaro, Garrett Cooper, Harold Ramirez and Miguel Rojas off the field for the foreseeable future. Based on recent transactions, it’s safe to assume that there are numerous bullpen arms among the 15-plus positive cases as well. The Fish claimed right-hander Mike Morin off waivers from the Brewers on Tuesday on the heels of adding right-hander Justin Shafer and left-hander Josh D. Smith the previous day.
Morin used to have a fairly stable role in the Angels ‘pen, but he has since moved into the journeyman phase of his career. The Marlins will be his fifth different major league organization in the last three calendar years. The Brewers designated him for assignment on Sunday.
Statistically, the 29-year-old has always been an anomaly. Despite a fairly large sample of 224 2⁄3 career innings pitched, there is massive gap between his earned run average (4.65 ERA) and fielder independent pitching (3.60 FIP). Morin’s three-pitch mix features a slow changeup that he trusts against both left- and right-handed opposition. The velocity differential between his low-90s fastball and mid-70s change is consistently the largest in the majors.
Splitting the 2019 season between the Twins and Phillies, Morin only struck out 12.4% of batters faced. He was great at preventing solid contact—ranked 93rd percentile in MLB in average exit velocity and 98th percentile in hard hit rate, per Statcast—but it will be difficult to replicate those results unless he misses more bats.
Morin is out of minor league options. He is eligible for arbitration in 2021, something the Marlins would only seriously consider if he recaptures his 2014-2016 form.