Today’s All-Time Marlins Countdown features three pitchers.
Today’s group of three are in the final bracket—of players to total more than 800 PA/BF with the Marlins. Players are ordered in ascending bWAR value divided by PA/BF. Our heroes today all finished slightly below replacement level in their time with the Marlins.
117. Vic Darensbourg
Left-handed pitcher Vic Darensbourg started his professional career in 1989, when the Kansas City Royals chose him in the 53rd round out of Santa Monica College. A native of Los Angeles, California, Darensbourg never played in the minors for Kansas City, instead going to Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho.
In 1992, the Marlins signed Darensbourg through free agency. He put up a 0.64 ERA for the GCL Marlins at the Rookie-Level, striking out 37 in 42 innings. He continued his success at the lower level in 1993 for the Single-A Kane County Cougars, posting a 9-1 record with 16 saves, a 2.14 ERA, and 89 whiffs in 71 1⁄3 innings.
Darensbourg was rewarded for his good performance by Baseball America, who ranked him as the number six Marlins prospect the following season. Still, it wouldn’t be until 1998 when Darensbourg got to the majors.
Eventually, Darensbourg pitched 264 2⁄3 innings for the Florida Marlins in 271 appearances over five seasons. He was 7-15 with two saves, a 5.00 ERA, 215 K’s, and a 1.477 WHIP, throwing strikes on 65 percent of his pitches. That includes 2001, when he threw an astounding 71 percent over the plate. Opponents slashed .270/.345/.427, and Darensbourg stranded 70 percent of inherited baserunners.
Darensbourg had one of his best games for the Marlins on September 1, 2000, in an 8-7 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He earned the win by striking out two over two shutout innings, pitching the ninth and 10th innings of an 11-inning victory.
After the 2002 season, the Marlins traded Darensbourg with Charles Johnson, Pablo Ozuna, and Preston Wilson to the Colorado Rockies for Mike Hampton, Juan Pierre, and cash. Darensbourg played another three big league seasons, appearing with the Rockies, the Montreal Expos, the Chicago White Sox, the New York Mets, and the Detroit Tigers.
116. Brian Moehler
Rockingham, North Carolina native Brian Moehler is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher. In 1993, the Tigers drafted him in the sixth round out of the University of North Carolina.
Moehler rose to the major league level with Detroit in 1996, and ended up playing parts of seven seasons as a member of their rotation. In 131 starts, he posted a 48-52 record and a 4.44 ERA, with 446 K’s in 809 innings. Prior to his time with the Marlins, he also played with the Cincinnati Reds and the Houston Astros.
Before the start of the 2004 season, Moehler signed on with the Atlanta Braves, but didn’t get to pitch at the major league level for them. After the season ended, he signed the first of two one-year deals with the Marlins. In his two seasons for Florida, he started in 46 of his 66 overall appearances, and posted a 13-23 record with a 5.43 ERA. He struck out 153 in 280 1⁄3 innings, and racked up a 1.577 WHIP, holding opponents to a .319/.367/.495 line.
On May 27, 2005, Moehler had his best start of the season for the Marlins, going by GameScore. He struck out six and allowed one earned run on four hits and zero walks over eight innings. Unfortunately, he took the loss, as the one run was enough for New York Mets starter Pedro Martinez to author a 1-0 victory.
On August 25, 2006, Moehler relieved Ricky Nolasco while trailing the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 in the third inning, then gave up just one hit over four innings and earned the victory in a 6-5 win.
Moehler signed with the Houston Astros before the 2007 season, and played four seasons for them. After 14 major league seasons, he completed his career with a 84-107 record and a 4.81 ERA.
115. Matt Clement
Right-hand pitcher Matt Clement is a six-foot-three native of McCandless, Pennsylvania. In 1993, the San Diego Padres drafted him out of high school in the third round. By 1997 he was the number nine Padres prospect, according to Baseball America.
At the end of 1998, Clement joined the rotation with the Padres for two starts. After starting 1999 as their number one prospect, he remained in their rotation for two more seasons. He made 67 starts in total, going 25-29 with a 4.82 ERA.
At the very end of Spring Training in 2001, Clement was sent with Omar Ortiz and Eric Owens to the Marlins for Cesar Crespo and Mark Kotsay. His season with Florida was the third of seven in a row that he didn’t miss a turn in the rotation, making 31 starts for the Marlins.
Clement was 9-10 with a 5.05 ERA and 134 K’s in 169 1⁄3 innings for Florida. He put up a 1.518 WHIP, and led the National League with 15 wild pitches. In his second start of the season, on April 8, Clement struck out eight and allowed one run on a solo homer, going eight innings in a 6-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. On August 1, he struck out 11 in six innings, and earned no decision in a 5-4 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Through the campaign, Clement plated 60 percent of his offerings and allowed opponents to slash .267/.365/.428. After the season ended, he was flipped to the Chicago Cubs with Antonio Alfonseca to the Marlins for Jose Cueto, Ryan Jorgensen, Julian Tavarez, and Dontrelle Willis.
Clement took 94 turns in the Cubs rotation, going 35-36 with a 3.80 ERA and 576 K’s in 587 2⁄3 innings. He made his only All Star appearance in 2005, after joining the Boston Red Sox. He started another 42 games for them in the American League, going 18-11 with a 5.09 ERA.