Last season, right-handed pitcher Bryan Hoeing made his major league debut as an emergency starter for the Miami Marlins. Flown across the country on short notice to replace an injured Braxton Garrett, he had the challenge of facing the dominant Los Angeles Dodgers on the road.
Although the story of his call-up was nice, Hoeing’s debut went as badly as feared. He allowed seven earned runs, including two home runs. Final score: L.A. 7, Miami 0.
Hoeing pitched out of the Marlins bullpen after that with mixed results. He finished 2022 with a 12.08 ERA and 8.48 FIP in 12 2⁄3 innings pitched. The Marlins were able to outright him to the minors after the season ended because no other team claimed him off waivers.
However, Hoeing has quickly worked himself back into the picture, rejoining Miami’s active roster and having a lot more success this time around. Since his April 25 call-up, Hoeing has a 4.73 ERA with a 2.84 FIP.
“I think it’s just more confidence,” said Hoeing when I spoke to him prior to the game on Friday. “I definitely put a lot of work in this offseason with my body, my pitchability, my pitches, and everything like that.”
Hoeing is incorporating the 4-seam fastball more, which was a pitch that he threw only once in the majors in 2022. He has thrown it 32 times this season and will most likely continue to use it. Aside from that, he continues to use his trusty sinker and slider, which have been producing more whiffs.
“Throwing all three of my pitches for strikes at any point in the count—it just opens up the plate, keeps the hitters a little bit more off-balance,” said Hoeing.
A big change that we’ve seen from 2022 to 2023 is the higher strikeout rate. His Triple-A K/9 more than doubled from 4.69 to 10.38. In the majors so far this season, it is 8.10. That adjustment is important for a groundball pitcher now that infield shifting has been restricted.
Interesting to let Nardi begin this third inning.— Fish on the Farm (@marlinsminors) May 6, 2023
Nonetheless, after getting BABIP’d, Bryan Hoeing has come back to get Dansby Swanson this way. Consistent 94 mph fastballs.#Marlins pic.twitter.com/HpUA1gXzJU
“I don’t mind it,” said Hoeing regarding the pitch clock. “I work quickly as it is, so for me, it doesn’t really affect me too much. I think as pitchers we can kind of use that to our advantage sometimes whether it’s a whole, not a whole sidestep, all that stuff. I think you can use it to your advantage and obviously, the pace of play overall for baseball is improved too, which is good for the fans.”
Marlins number one prospect Eury Perez debuted on Friday, displacing Hoeing from the starting rotation. Instead, Hoeing entered in relief of him and threw 1 1⁄3 innings and struck out two while only walking one and giving up one hit.
Hoeing’s spot in the Marlins ‘pen could be in danger soon. JT Chargois is days away from coming off the injured list and Rule 5 Draft pick Nic Enright needs a spot once he’s eligible later this month.
“I just take it one day at a time,” said Hoeing. “Personally, just stay healthy, go out there, and help the team win. It’s more about the team and is for me being around these guys.”
If Hoeing keeps pitching like this, Miami’s front office will have an interesting decision to make.