Through their first 28 seasons, the Marlins used a total of 630 players in a regular season game.
This series is rehashing all of them. We’ve already gone through 468 of them, and we’ve got another helping of four today. This series will continue through Opening Day eve with one article per day.
Players are first sorted into brackets defined by their total amount of plate appearances and/or batters faced. We’re currently nearing the end of the 250-to-799 bracket. Once sorted into these brackets, players are then further sorted by ascending brWAR divided by PA/BF. Today’s four players came in above replacement level.
162. Mark Hutton
South Adelaide, Australia native Mark Hutton is a six-foot-six right-handed pitcher. At the age of 18, the New York Yankees signed Hutton to a minor league deal in 1988. In 1989, they stuck him in the rotation with the Low-A Oneonta Yankees, and watched as he put up a 6-2 record with a 4.07 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 66 1⁄3 innings.
By 1992, Hutton was considered the number 83 prospect in baseball, by Baseball America. He was also ranked by the publication in the Yankees top 10 prospects in four of the five years between 1990 and 1994. In 1993, he made his major league debut with the Bombers, striking out a dozen batters in 22 innings. He also walked 17 and gave up 24 hits for a WHIP that approached 2.
Hutton appeared in a pair of games for the 1994 Yankees, but didn’t make enough of an impact to stick in the majors. He pitched in another dozen games for them in 1996. At the trade deadline, they sent him to the Marlins for David Weathers.
The change of scenery seemed to be the impetus for Hutton’s career. For the Marlins, he went 5-1 in nine starts and four relief appearances, with a 3.67 ERA, an opposing .222/.291/.335 slashline, and a career-best 1.154 WHIP. He put 66 percent of his pitches in the strike zone and stranded his only inherited runner.
On September 27, Hutton pitched eight shutout three-hit innings, striking out six and walking one in a 3-2 win against the Houston Astros. Hutton also actually held a little value for the Marlins as a hitter, going six-for-19 with a solo home run.
Despite his success as a starter, Hutton worked out of the Marlins bullpen in 1997. He came into 32 games in relief, going 3-1 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.448 WHIP. At the trade deadline, they sent him to the Colorado Rockies for Craig Counsell.
While the Marlins went on to win the World Series, Hutton racked up a 2.289 WHIP in 12 2⁄3 innings for Colorado. He pitched another 17 innings in 1998 for the Cincinnati Reds, but walked 17 and only struck out three, allowing 14 runs in the process.
161. Dave Magadan
Dave Magadan is a six-foot-three, right-handed throwing, left-handed batting corner infielder from Tampa. In 1980, he was a 12th round pick of the Boston Red Sox. Instead of signing, he played three seasons with the University of Alabama. It paid off in 1983, when the New York Mets took him in the second round of the draft.
Magadan played his first seven major league seasons with the Mets, and actually earned some MVP votes for his performance in 1990, when he hit .328 in 144 games. In 1992, a month after the expansion draft, the Marlins signed Magadan through free agency.
In 66 games through the first half of the 1993 campaign, Magadan had his most impactful stretch with the Marlins. He earned 1.8 brWAR by hitting .286/.400/.392, with 12 doubles, four homers, and 29 RBI. He drew 44 walks and struck out 30 times. Defensively, he was a mainstay at third base, where he started 58 times and put up a .961 fielding percentage. He was worth four zone fielding runs better than the National League average during that time.
Eleven times Magadan registered a multiple hit game, including four times where he collected three or more. On June 11, he went four-for-five with a double, a homer, and three RBI in an 11-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Two weeks later, the Marlins traded Magadan to the Seattle Mariners for Henry Cotto and Jeff Darwin.
Magadan hit .259/.356/.320 in 71 games for the Mariners. After the season, they traded him back to the Marlins for Jeff Darwin.
In Magadan’s second season for the Marlins, he slashed .275/.386/.322 with one homer and 17 RBI in 74 games. Defensively, he put up a .958 fielding percentage in 353 2⁄3 innings at the hot corner, and a 1.000 fielding percentage in 104 1⁄3 innings at first base. After the season, the Marlins granted his free agency.
Magadan went on to play a season each with the Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs, then two years with the Oakland Athletics and his final three with the San Diego Padres. In 16 major league seasons, he hit .288 and drew more walks (718) than he struck out (546).
160. Joe Borowski
Six-foot-two right-handed pitcher Joe Borowski was originally drafted in the 32nd round of the draft by the Chicago White Sox, in 1989. A native of Bayonne, New Jersey, Borowski graduated to the major leagues in 1995 with the Baltimore Orioles.
Prior to making his way to the Marlins in 2006, Borowski played with the O’s, the Atlanta Braves, the New York Yankees, the Chicago Cubs, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In his pre-Marlins career, he was 14-23 in 264 appearances, all but one out of the bullpen. He struck out 241 in 302 1⁄3 innings, and held down a 1.34 WHIP. In 2003, he saved 33 games for the Cubs.
Borowski signed with the Marlins through free agency prior to 2006 Spring Training. In his only season with Florida, he went 3-3 with a 3.75 ERA in a team-leading 72 appearances. He struck out 64 batters in 69 2⁄3 innings, with a 1.38 WHIP.
Florida used Borowski as a closer, and he shut the door 36 times through the 2006 season. He held the opposition to a .235/.323/.377 slashline, plated 61 percent of his pitches, and stranded 13-of-14 inherited baserunners.
Borowski joined the Cleveland Indians for the 2007 season, and led the American League with 45 saves. After saving six more in 2008, the Indians released him in July.
159. Paul Lo Duca
Lo Duca got to the majors with Los Angeles in 1998, and played in parts of seven seasons with the Dodgers. He made his first All-Star team in 2003, after hitting .273/.335/.377 for LA.
At the 2004 trade deadline, just after being named an All Star for the second time, the Dodgers sent Lo Duca with Juan Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota to the Marlins for Hee-Seop Choi, Bill Murphy, and Brad Penny. In 52 games for the Marlins, Lo Duca hit .258/.314/.376 with three homers and 31 RBI. Defensively, he put up a .997 fielding percentage in 413 innings behind the plate, and threw out 28 percent of base stealers, which was also the National League average.
In 2005, Lo Duca earned his third consecutive All Star nod. He played in 132 games for Florida, and hit .283/.334/.380 with six homers and 57 RBI. he racked up a .991 fielding percentage in 1033 1⁄3 innings at catcher, and threw out 25 percent of runners trying to steal. On June 29, Lo Duca singled in the second, doubled in the 12th, and hit a game-tying RBI-single with two outs in the bottom of the 13th. He later scored the walkoff-game-winner on an Encarnacion RBI-single.
During the 2005-06 Hot Stove season, the Marlins traded Lo Duca to the New York Mets for Dante Brinkley and Gaby Hernandez. Lo Duca made his fourth straight All-Star squad in 2006, and played a total of two seasons with the Mets. In 2008, he started the year with the Washington Nationals, but got released at the trade deadline. The Marlins signed him once more, and he went 10-for-34 in 21 games through the end of the season. It was the last time he would appear in a major league game, but 1082 games and four All Star teams isn’t really that bad, right?
Thanks for reading today. Check back here tomorrow for Chapter 89, featuring Garrett Cooper.