The Miami Marlins were forced to designate two players for assignment before Opening Day: pitcher Brad Hand and outfielder Cole Gillespie. Now, news surfaced about the fate of the two players. Brad Hand was claimed by the San Diego Padres and will join the team shortly. Gillespie cleared waivers and will remain in the Marlins organization, joining the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs in the Pacific Coast League.
Hand was always a promising lefty arm, but could never consistently put together good outings. He would look incredible one day and then incapable of throwing strikes the next day. Sometimes he would even look great for one batter then lost the next. Hand was drafted in the second round by the Marlins in 2008 out of Chaska High School in Chaska, Minnesota. He ended up appearing in 90 games for the Fish, making 43 starts. In his 288.2 innings, he posted a 4.71 ERA to go with 5.92 K/9 and 3.74 BB/9. He’s a project for the Padres pitching coaches, but he has some upside left on his arm: lefties have hit only .227/.285/.329 off of him in his career. He could end up as a valuable bullpen piece as a left handed reliever who faces lefties late in the game (aka LOOGY).
Gillespie came up big for the Marlins last season when injuries and ineffectiveness struck the outfield. He slashed .290/.333/.428 in 157 plate appearances across 67 games. His defense was below average, but never a liability. A bloated BABIP (.342) helped push his numbers far above his career averages, which the Marlins must have noticed before subjecting him to waivers. Given that he cleared, other teams must have noticed as well. Still, he’s familiar with the team and a valuable depth piece in case injuries tear up the Marlins outfield again in 2016.