February 19, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Jhan Marinez (57) poses for a picture during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Jhan Marinez: When his control clicks…
Marinez has electric stuff, averaging nearly 96 MPH on his fastball during his brief big league time, but his control has always been a major concern. His career walks per 9 innings ratio in the minors is a scary 5.7, and that actually went up to 7.1 in 2014. However, the Rays signed him to a minor league deal knowing that if they can find him even decent command, he could find his way into their bullpen.
In 16 appearances and 11.1 innings pitched in the Dominican Winter League, Marinez went 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA and a 12-5 strikeout to walk ratio in 11.1 innings pitched. He has allowed just 4 hits in that time, with righties going just 1 for 24 against him. This isn’t the first time this has happened either–Marinez’s six big league appearances came after he lowered his BB/9 to 4.5 in 2010 and 4.3 in 2012.
The Rays have no glaring bullpen need, so Marinez will likely start the season at Triple-A Durham, but it always exciting to have your depth be pitchers with the ability to break out. If the Rays are lucky, Marinez will continue his decent-enough control into the regular season and push for a call-up at some point in the season.