The Miami Marlins could use a young boost to the pitching corps as the season wears on. The Marlins also happen to have the top left-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball. But that doesn’t mean he is bound for South Florida soon.
The Marlins’ top prospect, southpaw Andrew Heaney, pitched lights-out again Tuesday night when he threw six scoreless innings allowing just one hit and striking out seven in a victory for Triple-A New Orleans.
On the season, Heaney has split time between Double-A Jacksonville and New Orleans and compiled a 5-2 record with a 2.09 ERA. Heaney has pitched 64.2 innings and recorded 66 strikeouts with just 13 walks and allowed just 2 home runs this year.
Over the last two seasons Heaney has compiled a record in the minors of 14-5 with a sub 2.0 ERA in 159.3 innings pitched. He’s struck out 155 batters, allowed 39 walks and just 6 home runs in his last two seasons in the minors.
Needless to say, the Marlins could use Heaney’s stuff, especially after losing Jose Fernandez for at least the next year after he underwent Tommy John surgery.
Still, don’t expect Heaney to be brought up before mid to late June. The reason behind keeping Heaney in the minors is keeping the southpaw in the system longer.
According to the Miami Herald, if the Marlins wait to call up Heaney until late June, he wouldn’t be eligible for free agency until 2020 and he wouldn’t be eligible for arbitration until 2017, unless he was demoted to the minors for some reason.
Regardless, at some point this season, Heaney is likely to join the Marlins’ starting rotation. If he performs as expected, and Jose Fernandez can return to form by next season; the Marlins could have a dangerous and young rotation for the next few seasons to throw at the National League.