There is one pitcher in baseball that means more to his team than any other pitcher in baseball. The Miami Marlins have won 64% of Jose Fernandez’s starts the past two seasons. Only 36% of the Marlins games have been won when another starter is on the mound.
Early reports out of Miami indicate he will have to undergo season ending Tommy John surgery for a torn ligament that he suffered against the San Diego Padres last Friday.
This injury is a huge blow to Jose Fernandez owners. His value goes beyond wins and losses. He was on path of great historical significance.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, since earned runs became an official stat in 1913, 132 pitchers have thrown at least 200 innings through their age-21 season. Only two of them have a lower ERA than Jose Fernandez’s 2.25.
Even without Jose Fernandez, Miami Marlins pitchers do offer some fantasy value.
Now, we are going to take a look at the other pitchers on Miami’s staff and what they have to offer your fantasy team through the rest of the season.
Nathan Eovaldi has a blazing mid-nineties fastball. Most people expect lofty strikeout rates with the kind of velocity and movement that he possesses. Yet, his K/9 rate was a very pedestrian 6.60 last season. He threw his fastball 70% of the time that enabled hitters to just sit back and wait for the heater. He didn’t possess a quality pitch to setup his fastball.
Things have quickly changed this season. He has further developed his slider that he now throws 27% of the time. This is why his K/9 rate has increased to 8.58.
His slider comes out of his hand at the same angle as his fastball causing hitters to have a hard time picking up what is coming their way. His slider has made all the difference in him transforming into a pitcher from the thrower that he was last season.
He is posting the lowest walk rate of his professional career at 1.79 BB/9. He has literally cut the amount of free passes in half. Limiting his walks is the main reason his current ERA stands at 2.86 to go along with a sustainable strand rate of 74.4%.
All of these numbers are sustainable. Nathan Eovaldi would be my number one choice to among the current Marlins starters. If you don’t currently own him, you will probably have to pay a hefty price to get him in a trade.
I would make that deal because I don’t see a lot of regression as we head into the summer.
Every owner at this point in the season is looking for ways to improve their pitching. You start to look for pitchers with low ERA’s and good WHIP’s that you can find on the waiver wire or get in a cheap trade.
Tom Koehler’s ERA stands at 2.57. Most fantasy baseball participants would love to have Tom Koehler on their staff because of his low ERA and a WHIP of 1.14. His career average WHIP is 1.30 and his ERA stands at 4.03.
Let me be the first to tell you not to get caught in a statistical trap. Tom Koehler is not a pitcher that can sustain his numbers for the rest of the season.
His BABIP is a ridiculously low .212. That tells me he has been extremely lucky with balls being hit for outs. His FIP is a very mediocre 4.41. There is a big discrepancy here that will adjust itself as the summer goes on. His ERA will catch up to what his FIP is telling us. An ERA of 2.57 with a FIP of 4.41 tells you he has been an extremely lucky pitcher with balls being hit turning into outs. This type of luck will not hold for an entire season.
Avoid him at all costs.
Henderson Alvarez is the kind of pitcher you can use in streaming situations. He is an extreme ground ball pitcher so giving up home runs will not hurt your team. His ground ball rates are among the highest in baseball.
Surprisingly, he is a very hard thrower. His fastball averages 95 mph. Yet, he does not miss many bats. His K/9 rate stands at 5.73. He won’t garner you a lot of strikeouts but he will give you a good ERA that is currently at 3.33.
His WHIP is a little high at 1.40 but if you use him to stream that won’t be much of a problem. He is prone to walking batters especially early in the game. His walk rates will get him into trouble but he has pitched around his mistakes so far this season.
His 2.33 ERA at home will give you an advantage when streaming him. I would not use him on the road where his ERA is two runs higher. He becomes an unusable pitcher on the road.
In the right situations at home Henderson Alvarez is a very serviceable pitcher for your team. He won’t put up huge numbers but he will be good for your teams’ numbers when he pitches at home.
Andrew Heaney is the Miami Marlins number one pitching prospect and their top rated prospect overall. He will see action at some point this season. I have reason to believe he will be up by the All-Star break based on the Marlins current injury situation with Jose Fernandez.
The left-hander out of Oklahoma State University, sports a 2.35 ERA with 44 strikeouts through 46 innings at AA Jacksonville. He has only allowed one home run while walking 12. His fastball, slider and change-up are all plus pitches according to scouts.This is someone you definitely want to have on your radar. If you have a bench spot open you might want to think about stashing him on your roster before he is called up.
He can make an immediate impact for a team looking for another starting pitcher.