The Marlins signed infielder Ruben Gotay to a minor league deal yesterday. Gotay spent all of 2010 with Memphis, where he led the Pacific Coast League with 95 walks and ranked second with a .410 on-base percentage in 139 games with the Redbirds. He started 103 games at third base and 27 more at second base.
Gotay, who turns 28 on Christmas Day, played in 23 games with the Zephyrs in 2007. He’s a .255 hitter in 316 career Major League games with the Royals, Mets and Braves.
The Marlins have removed right-handed reliever Brett Sinkbeil from their 40-man roster, outrighting him to New Orleans. Sinkbeil is eligible to be taken in next month’s Rule V Draft.
In 2010, Sinkbeil logged 58 appearances for the Zephyrs, second-most in club history, but posted a 5.71 ERA. He had a 6.07 ERA with the Z’s in 2009, but a 2.94 ERA as a reliever, compared to a 10.59 mark in eight starts. The former first-rounder has not had an ERA under 5.00 since 2007 with Class A Jupiter.
Outfielder Brett Carroll has signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals. Carroll played in 97 games with the Zephyrs in 2009-10, batting just .225 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI, while striking out 77 times in 347 at-bats. Carroll had spent the first seven years of his pro career in the Marlins system, and say big league time with the Fish in each of the last four years.
Another minor league free agent, left-handed reliever Dan Meyer, has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Meyer had an excellent 2009 with the Marlins, but struggled in 2010 before being sent to New Orleans in June. With the Z’s, he limited right-handed hitters to a .214 average, while lefties batted .246 against him.
Moving on from the likes of Meyer and Taylor Tankersley, Florida continues to accumulate arms for their bullpen, trading Andrew Miller to Boston in exchange for left-hander Dustin Richardson. In 2010, Richardson split time between Triple-A Pawtucket (2.66 ERA in 32 games) and the Red Sox (4.15 ERA in 26 games).
The big trade of the week was All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla being shipped to Atlanta for Omar Infante and another young lefty, Mike Dunn, who was a key cog in the Braves’ playoff run. Dunn had a 1.52 ERA in 38 games for Triple-A Gwinnett (64 strikeouts in 47.1 innings) and a 1.89 ERA in 25 games for Atlanta (27 strikeouts in 19.0 innings).
The Florida Marlins traded outfielder Cameron Maybin to the San Diego Padres over the weekend, in exchange for relievers Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. Maybin played well in 115 games with the Zephyrs over the last two seasons, batting .325 with seven homers, 62 RBI and 24 doubles, and his 10 triples ranks sixth in club history. But Triple-A success has yet to translate at the big league level for the former 10th overall pick.
Some familiar names have popped up as replacements for Maybin as Florida’s center fielder in 2011: Emilio Bonifacio, Scott Cousins, Bryan Petersen, and Chris Coghlan, who could move over from left field, where Logan Morrison took over down the stretch last year.
Elsewhere, Tim Wood signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. Wood appeared in 45 games with the Z’s over the last two years (4.02 ERA) and 44 more with the Marlins (4.32 ERA).
Baseball America has the breakdown of the 533 Minor League free agents who will be looking for jobs this offseason, with 31 of them coming from the Marlins, more than any team in baseball (the Washington Nationals are second with 27). Here is the list of Marlins – all but eight saw time with New Orleans in 2010:
RHP: Natividad Dilone (Hi A), Jon Fulton+
(AA), Brian Lawrence (AAA), Tom Mastny (AAA), Matt Peterson (AAA), Nic
Ungs+ (AAA), Tim Wood (AAA)
LHP: Jeff Gogal (AA), James Houser (AAA), Wes Whisler (AAA)
C: John Otness (AA), Neil Wilson (AAA)
1B: Mark Saccomanno (AAA)
2B: Wes Long (Lo A), Danny Richar (AAA), Rigoberto Silverio+ (Hi A)
3B: Lee Mitchell (AA)
SS: Gookie Dawkins (AAA), Javier Guzman (AAA), Ryan Klosterman+ (Hi A), Emilio Ontiveros (Hi A), Tim Torres (AA)
OF: Chris Aguila (AAA), Brett Carroll (AAA), Jason Delaney
(AAA), Jose Duarte (Lo A), Vinny Rottino (AA), Lorenzo Scott (AA),
Brandon Tripp (AA), Greg Burns (AAA), Jeff Corsaletti (AA)
The latest issue of Baseball America has deemed former Zephyrs first baseman Logan Morrison as the top “former prospect” in baseball, meaning he is the best prospect who has lost his rookie status. Morrison started in 62 of the Marlins’ final 63 games and went past the rookie at-bat limit on September 3rd.
Baseball America lists Morrison ahead of Ryan Kalish of the Red Sox, Mitch Moreland of the Rangers, Brett Wallace of the Astros and Peter Bourjos of the Angels.
Edwin Rodriguez is returning to the Florida Marlins as manager for the 2011 season, it was announced Wednesday. Rodriguez, who went 96-117 in 1½ seasons managing the Zephyrs before being summoned to the Marlins to replace the fired Fredi Gonzalez on June 23rd, went 46-46 in his first stint as a big league manager.
In other news, left-handed starter Sean West has been shut down in the Arizona Fall League after experiencing a strained left elbow. The Marlins do not believe the injury to be serious, but want to be cautious with the former first-round pick. West made just one start for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
West missed the first two months of the 2010 season with a lower back strain, then went 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 starts for the Zephyrs. The highlight came in his final start with the Z’s on July 27th, when he tossed a five-hit shutout against Memphis, the first nine-inning shutout of his career. The Shreveport native did not fare well in two starts with the Marlins in August before a season-ending knee injury.
The San Francisco Giants closed out the Texas Rangers in five games in the 2010 World Series last night, bringing an end to one title drought (the Giants’ 56 years between championships) and extending another (the Rangers are still without a title in their 50 years of existence).
Despite the loss, it was a marvelous season for the Rangers and manager Ron Washington, who began the year by being inducted into the New Orleans Professional Baseball Hall of Fame at the annual Evening With The Zephyrs cocktail reception.
Speaking of which, details on the 2011 Evening With The Zephyrs will be released in the coming weeks, so stay tuned as we officially enter baseball’s offseason!
The Marlins continued to make offseason roster moves, outrighting Jay Buente to New Orleans on Thursday.
Buente began the year in the Zephyrs’ bullpen, recording a 2.70 ERA in 19 appearances before receiving his first big league promotion on May 26th. He had trouble finding the strike zone in the majors, walking eight batters in 5.1 innings over four games before being returned to New Orleans on June 20th. After only one more outing with the Zephyrs, Buente was sent to Double-A Jacksonville to try his hand at starting, but was injured in his first start and missed more than a month.
He went back to relieving upon returning to Jacksonville in August and gave up just two runs in 13 innings, then pitched in four more games with the Marlins in September. In 55 games with the Z’s over the last two years, Buente is 5-2 with a 3.15 ERA.
The Florida Marlins named their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, with Jacksonville Suns teammates taking home the honors.
Shortstop Ozzie Martinez was named Minor League Player of the Year, after batting .302 with a .372 on-base percentage in helping the Suns successfully defend their Southern League crown. The league leader in runs (90), Martinez played for the World Team during the Futures Game, and was called up to the Marlins in September after the Suns’ playoff run, hitting .326 in 14 games.
Elih Villanueva went 14-4 with a 2.26 ERA in 179 innings over 28 starts for the Suns, and pitched a no-hitter on August 11th. He threw four complete games, including three shutouts, and led the league in ERA.
Barring trades, both Martinez and Villanueva stand a good chance of beginning 2011 with New Orleans.