And we’re off! It’s time to put 2012′s bitter end to rest and enjoy a fresh new season. First up, the Miami Marlins. (And in case you missed it, a breakdown of the Nats’ pitching staff is here.)
The Marlins made headlines on Sunday when No. 2 starter Nathan Eovaldi was placed on the disabled list. Henderson Alvarez, considered to be the fifth starter this season, was also placed on the DL. The headline move came when blue chip pitching prospect Jose Fernandez — who has never pitched above High-A — got the call. Kevin Slowey was also added to the roster and the rotation.
The rotation was shuffled a bit, so Slowey now goes behind Ricky Nolasco, who drew the opening day nod. Wade LeBlanc will be the third starter and will pitch in the last game of the opening series.
The Miami bullpen is led by side-armer Steven Cishek. At 6-foot-6, he’s in the middle of the Marlin reliever height spectrum, right along side Ryan Webb. A.J. Ramos is 13 inches shorter than 6-foot-11 Jon Rauch. The lone lefty in the bullpen, Mike Dunn, is “just” an even six feet. Veterans John Maine and Chad Qualls round out the group, both at 6-foot-4.
Fernandez threw one inning in relief in the 2012 Futures Game, producing 14 total pitches worth of PICTHf/x data. He surely won’t throw that hard as a starter or throw that many breaking pitchers. He reportedly has a change-up and a slider that he didn’t use in the Futures Game.
The Nats won’t get to see the highly touted Fernandez this time, but reports indicate the Marlins plan to keep him in the rotation even when Eovaldi and Alvarez return. Washington will also miss Alex Sanabia, who has ended up in the fourth slot after the last-minute shuffling.
They are going to see some hard throwers out of the bullpen, with the exception of former Mets, Maine and Rauch. It’s a pretty even mix of two-seam sinker and four-seam fastball throwers, too. Ramos gives a few looks with this slurvey slider and his hard cutter.
The starters (excluding Fernandez) rely on movement and guile. LeBlanc will change speeds with his sinker and change-up and Nolasco throws two curveballs, with a rare one coming around 80 but most down in the low- to mid-70′s.
We’ll keep the comment thread updated with any interesting PITCHf/x factoids that come up, especially around the guys who haven’t pitched in the majors recently.