May 19: The Marlins announced that Koehler’s optional assignment has been voided due to the fact that he has been diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder. Rather than being optioned to the minors, he’s instead been placed on the Major League 10-day disabled list (retroactive to May 17).
Teams aren’t allowed to option a player to the minor leagues when he is injured, and Miami assuredly would’ve faced a grievance had Koehler been placed on the minor league DL rather than the Major League DL. He’ll now continue to accrue service time as he works back from his shoulder troubles, though there’s yet to be any indication as to how long he might be on the shelf.
May 16: The Marlins announced following tonight’s game that right-hander Tom Koehler has been optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. That’s a fairly surprising development not because of Koehler’s performance but simply due to the fact that the 30-year-old has been a mainstay in the Miami rotation since 2013. In fact, Koehler hasn’t thrown a single pitch in the minors since that 2013 campaign.
Over the winter, Koehler and the Marlins avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal that guarantees the right-hander a $5.75MM salary. Between that salary and the fact that Koehler has more than four years of Major League service time, he’s hardly the type of player that is typically optioned to the minors.
Of course, one would be hard-pressed to argue that Koehler didn’t pitch his way off the 2017 staff. The righty was tagged for eight runs on seven hits and four walks through just three innings tonight, causing his already unsightly ERA to balloon from 5.60 to 7.04. Koehler has already surrendered 10 home runs this year in just 38 1/3 innings, which has been the primary reason for his painful numbers.
The downturn in production for Koehler was rapid; prior to this season, he’d been a durable, albeit somewhat unspectacular rotation cog for Miami on a yearly basis. From 2013-16, Koehler worked to a 4.14 ERA with 6.8 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9 and averaged 30 starts and 175 innings per year. While his velocity and his K/9, BB/9 and ground-ball rates in 2017 have all remained similar to their 2016 levels, though, Koehler’s homer-to-flyball ratio has soared from 12.1 percent to 21.7 percent. While there’s likely at least some randomness at play there, his efforts can’t be aided by the fact that he’s seen a dramatic decrease in his first-pitch strike rate and his opponents’ chase rate.
Koehler will join fellow Opening Day rotation-mate Adam Conley in New Orleans, leaving Miami with a starting corps that consists of Edinson Volquez, Dan Straily, Justin Nicolino and Jose Urena. Left-handers Wei-Yin Chen and Jeff Locke are currently on the disabled list — there’s no timetable for Chen’s return — and the team is thin on options to replace Koehler. Conley could conceivably be a candidate, but he was only just optioned himself and didn’t pitch well in his first outing with New Orleans. Veterans Vance Worley and Odrisamer Despaigne are both with the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate (Despaigne is on the 40-man roster; Worley is not) and could merit a look.
From a service time vantage point, the demotion could have serious implications for Koehler, who entered the year with four years, 16 days (4.016) days of Major League service time. He’d need to accrue a fairly substantial 156 days of MLB service in 2017 to reach five years of MLB service and position himself to be eligible for free agency following the 2018 campaign, so if Koehler spends even a month in the Majors it’d push his free agency back by a year. Then again, if he can’t right the ship, his production to date would likely result in a non-tender following the year anyhow.
RIP Jose Fernandez. Dearly missed. Great Person, Great pitcher.
Great person? Really?
He killed 2 people. Not exactly in the Ripken/Jeter category.
Thekid9….I’m with you.Had Fernandez survived he would’ve been brought up on manslaughter charges. Hardly the type of person to erect a statue to, imo. But, because he was a darn good pitcher who died too soon (albeit his own fault….drugging and driving) he gets a statue.
I also agree.
pretty sure his moment of reckless decision making that led to his ultimate demise doesn’t negate the impact he had on people. actually i’m positive. referring to yourself as “the kid” is obviously an out of context reference, but you’re maturity level surely matches that of a 9 year old. good day, bless
“Positive effect on others” ?!?
How about the effect he had on the lives of his two friends, who died because of Jose’s own lack of “maturity level”? And the effect on the lives of their loved ones?
Hold off on the pedestal and the halo please. Such abject and rationalizing hero-worship is sick.
p.s. Anyone who calls himself “Goop Pooberson” shouldn’t try to belittle anyone else’s moniker.
Hero worship? Are you that sanctimonious on purpose or is it really a novel idea to you that Fernandez (like any other mortal) had flaws? You don’t have to deify the guy as a moral and ethical pillar of society to acknowledge that he was quite involved with the community and was otherwise a much loved superstar. He was all that **AND** he got drunk, did some rails, crashed a boat, and killed himself and his buddies in the process. Welcome to the real world where things are sometimes complex and unsettling.
I think you’re missing the point
tom Kohler needs to go to another team, maybe a change of scenery might help, or maybe he just sucks. he seems like a AAAA pitcher
A “Quad-A pitcher” that threw 700 Major League innings with a 4.14 ERA from 2013-16?
Is that supposed to be good? In the NL? In a pitcher friendly park?
It’s suitable for a major leaguer starter so yea, it’s pretty decent.
Not everyone can toss consistently sub 3.00 ERAs. If you can get a guy who can consistently throw 175 innings of 4.00 ERA ball, then that’s pretty damn good.
And pitcher friendly parks only go so far. OCo is one of the few parks I can reasonably see being a real “pitchers park” due to the egregious foul line territory. Petco too due to high strikeout totals and a long porch. It still only goes so far. The Marlins stadium is like Comerica (which is also a pitchers park) due to a very “spacious” and “forgiving” center field. It basically means you can maybe leg out one or two more doubles a season. I’m not saying it’s not a factor, it’s just not the “main” factor. The dude is a solid, albeit unspectacular Major League Starter.
Bout time……nuff said
He just sucks. Without Jose his stuff is the same as the other 5 starters. Hitters are seeing 5 pitchers with the same stuff night in night out (Hence the ERA spike for all members of the staff). Loria should have built a staff of guys who had different looks. Instead you have a staff of average arms with average stuff and hitters are just teeing off now. Minus the different look from Ziegler and, of course, Ramos. The Marlins staff are all mirror images of each other #thanksloria
Ok enough blaming everything on Lori I’m a Marlins fan so I hate him to but most of our problems are self inflicted and not all his fault. Making him a scape goat is not going to help.
ghost of harambe
Exactly, ame for red sox fans that blame farrell for everything
Agree there, tho Farrell really doesn’t have a clue with regards to BP useage and neither did Tito when he was with Boston and say that as a Sox fan since early 60’s and watch just about every game. The way both use their pen assets will drive one mad..
Bet he’s hiding an injury….
If nothing else, Koehler can make a heck of a cup of coffee.
And I thought for sure going into the season that the Padres had far and away the worst starting staff in the Majors. Boy was I wrong.
LMFAO!!! That’s what the Houston Astros team does to pitchers…
What? Hurt pitchers?