Before today, we’ve written 82 chapters of this series.
And after today’s, we’ll have 82 to go. Welcome to the midpoint of the All-Time Marlins Countdown. This series focuses on every player to don a Marlins uniform and play in a regular season game from 1993 through now.
182. Doug Waechter
St. Petersburg, Florida native Doug Waechter is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher. In 1999, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays chose him in the third round of the draft out of Northeast HS in his hometown. In 2002, he went 6-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 17 starts for the High-A Bakersfield Blaze, striking out 101 and walking only 29 in 108 1⁄3 innings. He opened the 2003 campaign ranked as the Rays number 10 prospect, according to Baseball America.
Waechter’s increased prospect cache no doubt led to his making his major league debut in 2003. He started in five of his six appearances for Tampa Bay, with 29 K’s in 35 1⁄3 innings. He ended up posting a 14-25 record over four years for the Devil Rays, with a 5.62 ERA. After spending the entire 2007 campaign in the Rays’ minors, they granted his free agency following the season. The Marlins signed him in November.
Waechter spent more-or-less the whole season with the Marlins at the major league level, minus some rehab appearances for minor injuries. He appeared in 48 games, going 4-2 with a 3.69 ERA and 46 K’s in 63 1⁄3 innings. He got 66 percent of his pitches in the strike zone, holding opponents to a .254/.315/.403 slashline. He allowed five-of-15 inherited runners to cross the plate.
On April 29, Waechter relieved starter Andrew Miller, with the Marlins trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-2. He threw four shutout innings, and allowed the Marlins to come back to tie the score, surrendering only two singles. The Marlins eventually fell by a 7-6 final score. The Marlins granted his free agency following the season.
Waechter signed with the Kansas City Royals for the 2009 season, but only appeared in five games for them in the majors. He didn’t play after the season.
181. Edinson Vólquez
Edinson Vólquez is a six-foot right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and the last Marlins pitcher to throw a no-hitter. He started his professional career in 2001 after signing with the Texas Rangers, at the age of 18.
Vólquez had a long major league career before playing for the Marlins in 2017. He played for the Rangers, the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Kansas City Royals. He went 89-79 with a 4.44 ERA in 252 starts between the six clubs, making the National League All Star team in 2008, and also finishing fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year vote, while playing for the Reds.
In 2017, Vólquez made 17 starts for Miami, going 4-8 with a 4.19 ERA and 81 K’s in 92 1⁄3 innings. On June 3, he pitched the sixth Marlins no-hitter, striking out 10 and walking two in a 3-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. It only took 98 pitches.
Overall, Vólquez kept his opponents to a .236/.342/.378 line. He plated 60 percent of his offerings through the season. Vólquez didn’t pitch again for the Marlins after July 5, going on the disabled list for the balance of the season.
Vólquez rejoined the Rangers for 18 more appearances in 2019 and 2020. He’s been a free agent for the past two-and-a-half months.
180. Ross Gload
Left-handed outfielder Ross Gload is a six-foot-one native of Brooklyn, New York. In 1997, the Marlins chose him in the 13th round out of the University of South Florida.
Gload worked his way up through Florida’s system until mid-2000. At the trade deadline, they packaged him with Dave Noyce and sent them to the Chicago Cubs for Henry Rodriguez. He made his debut with the Cubbies later that year, going six-for-31 in 18 contests.
Gload later played for the Colorado Rockies, the Chicago White Sox, and the Kansas City Royals. Going into the 2009 season, the Royals traded him back to the Marlins for minor leaguer Eric Basurto.
In Gload’s only season for Florida, he slashed .261/.329/.400 in 125 games, with 10 doubles, two triples, six homers, and 30 RBI. He drew 23 walks, scored 33 runs, and struck out 30 times.
Defensively, Gload did play a total of 47 1⁄3 innings in the outfield, mostly in right and posting a .917 fielding percentage with one error in 12 chances. More often than not, he was getting in his reps at first base, where he appeared in 41 games for a total of 294 2⁄3 innings and posted a .997 fielding percentage.
Gload started in 38 games for the Marlins, and put up multiple hits in eight of them. On June 11, he hit a single and two home runs, knocking in three in an eventual 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gload played two more major league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies after his time with the Marlins.
179. Justin Miller
Torrance, California native Justin Miller was a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher, and the 34th round choice of the San Francisco Giants in 1995 out of high school. After two seasons of collegiate ball, the Colorado Rockies took him in the fifth round out of Los Angeles Harbor College.
Miller was twice traded before getting to the majors in 2002 with the Toronto Blue Jays. He posted a 9-5 record, starting in 18 of his 25 appearances at the major league level with them. He struck out 68 and walked 66 for a near-one-to-one BB/K ratio.
Miller played in a total of 45 games for the Jays over parts of three seasons. After 2005, he played in the minors for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Marlins signed him through free agency a month into the 2007 season.
After signing, Miller put up the best major league numbers of his career, going 5-0 with a 3.65 ERA and 74 whiffs in 61 2⁄3 innings. He only walked 24, and held his opponents to a slash of .228/.301/.375. He put 62 percent of his pitches in the zone, and stranded 70 percent of his inherited baserunners through his 62 relief appearances.
On July 19, Miller had his highest WPA of the season. He relieved Taylor Tankersley with one out and the bases loaded, protecting a 5-3 seventh inning lead. He struck out Brandon Phillips on four pitches, then got Adam Dunn to strike out to end the threat. The Marlins won by a 7-5 final score.
Miller came out of the pen 46 times for the Marlins in 2008, going 4-2 with a 4.24 ERA and 43 K’s in 46 2⁄3 innings. He walked 20, and held his opponents to a .258/.342/.431 slashline. Miller improved on his ability to strand his inherited baserunners, allowing only six-of-30 to cross the plate.
Miller played for the San Francisco Giants in 2009 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. On June 26, 2013, Miller was found dead at home, in Palm Harbor, Florida. A cause of death was not announced.