The Tampa Bay rays promoted 27-year-old rookie right-hander Jhan Marinez to the major league roster yesterday. He already saw action, throwing a shutout inning of relief work against the New York Yankees, fanning one hitter. Marinez has been on-and-off prospect lists for years (he pitched in the MLB Futures Game back in 2011) and saw brief big league action for the Miami Marlins back in 2010 and the Chicago White Sox in 2012. He is still a rookie, however, with just six MLB innings on his resume. Here's a quick primer.
Marinez is from the Dominican Republic, originally signed by the Marlins back in 2005. After starting a handful of games at the lowest levels he moved to the bullpen full-time in 2008. His 2010 season was impressive (1.71 ERA, 64/21 K/BB in 42 innings between High-A and Double-A, just 21 hits) and he appeared in four games out of the Marlins pen. Traded to the White Sox in late 2011, he had a good year in Triple-A in 2012 but struggled with injuries and command problems in '13 and '14, wandering the Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Dodgers systems as a minor league free agent. He signed with the Rays as a free agent for '15 and rebounded with a 2.27 ERA and a 71/27 K/BB in 67 innings in Double-A and Triple-A.
Listed at 6-1, 200, Marinez has standard bullpen stuff with a four-seam fastball at 93-97 MPH and a hard slider in the 85-88 range. He hasn't bothered with a change-up in years and only occasionally lowers the velocity on the slider down to 83-84. When his command is working he can be tough on both right-handers and left-handers but on days when his command wobbles, lefties get a good look at him and can chew him up.
Here's Pedro Alvarez taking Marinez deep in spring training.
Overall, Marinez offers a short/middle relief package with particularly potential against right-handed batters but with continued questions about his command probably precluding a larger role.