I think you could field a team with all the players on IL in the NL East and that team could win you a division. Mets have been injured, Phillies have been injured, Braves have guys breaking their hand just for fun of it I guess. Marlins have lost some of their key players along the way also. Seems like when somebody comes back from the IL, two other go down. Apart of Juan Soto and Max Scherzer, Nationals have just been bad after COVID-19 issues in the beginning of the season. Never count them out though.
In the beginning of the season I made promise that I would watch every Sixto Sanchez start live but unfortunately it seems like Sixto might miss the majority of the season or in a worst case the whole season as he has had setback in his rehab of his throwing shoulder and I don´t think Marlins are in the mood of taking a huge risk with him when the team is not seriously fighting for a spot in the playoffs. They are saying few days. Then few days goes to a few weeks. You know the drill. Getting over a .500 winning percentage opportunity has come few times but then they just blow it in a grand fashion. Now Marlins are currently 24-30 heading into series against the Pirates and the Rockies. June will tell us how big of a sellers the Fish is at the deadline.
One of the stories for this Marlins season in the mainstream media has been the Bahamian Prince Jazz Chisholm but let´s talk about Trevor Rogers, Marlins left-handed pitcher who is making some noise at the moment. He just won back-to-back National League Rookie of the Month awards which is not something you hear often when talking about the Marlins. Last Marlins player to reach this achievement was Jose Fernandez in 2013. Rogers has currently pitched 62.2 innings in which he has 76 strikeouts, 6-3 win/loss record, 1.87 ERA and 1.101 WHIP.
The lengthy lefty (listed as 6-5) from the great state of New Mexico was Marlins first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2017 draft. In that year he was ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the Marlins organisation. He played just two seasons in the minors, reaching Double-A in 2019 where he pitched 26 innings. Last year he got the call and made his debut against the Mets in August. He pitched four innings, gave up just one hit, no earned runs and six strikeouts. A few games later he was blown up against the Phillies, giving up eight earned runs in just three innings. His ERA jumped to 6.11 but he had shown flashes that made the most seasoned Marlins fans excited about him for this season. I raise my hand for the fact that I did not see this kind of performance coming.Embed from Getty Images
During an in-game interview this season Rogers said that his favourite pitcher growing up was Randy Johnson and he tries to imitate his game with the five time CY Young award winner. That is a decent pitcher to look up to. One thing pops out when you look at his stats is that he has done a good job keeping the ball in the park as he has not given up many home runs, only three home runs this season. Out of the Marlins starting rotation he has given the most walks (22) but on the same phrase he has the most strikeouts. We will see how this folds out when the season goes on. He tends to attack guys with a 4-seam fastball that averages 95 mph. He puts you swinging in the air with a slider that averages 82 mph. That slider has a 48.2 whiff%.
Last year I was really excited to see Sixto Sanchez up and I was blown away with his stuff. Now that it seems like he is out for the season feels like a punch to the stomach but thats also where Trevor Rogers enters the scene. Yes, he was a first round pick and he´s had huge expectations but maybe not in the same scale as top prospect Sixto. He starts the season in the starting rotation with the likes of Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez and just goes out hammering. Getting the NL Rookie of the Month award back-to-back months is a huge thing for the whole franchise and it shows that at least in some departments this rebuild has took some victories. Season is not yet even in the half way mark but this kind of success for him brings a question; does he have a chance for National League Rookie of the Year? Yes.
Last player in the Marlins franchise to win Rookie of the year award was Jose Fernandez back in 2013. Jose would be 29 years old this season. I think he would have been an excellent mentor for this young pitching staff. Last left-handed pitcher to win rookie of the year award in Marlins franchise was Dontrelle Willis in 2003. That´s some guys to chase.
Awards aside, all I know that he is a stud.
Stay safe and lets go Fish!
Photo credit: Michael Reaves
Stats: MLB.com, Baseballsavant.com
Tomi Korkeamaki is covering the Miami Marlins during 2021 as part of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @TKorkeamaki
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