The Marlins have released right-hander Severino Gonzalez and veteran left-hander Sean Burnett from their Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, as first tweeted by the club’s Triple-A broadcaster, Tim Grubbs.
Gonzalez, 25, spent a day on the Marlins’ active roster in early April after having his contract selected from New Orleans, but his addition was purely a depth move, it seems. Gonzalez didn’t get into the game in his lone day on the roster, and he was designated for assignment the next day. He ultimately accepted an outright assignment back to New Orleans, where he went on to struggle for much of the season.
In 33 2/3 innings out of the bullpen this season, Gonzalez has stumbled with a 5.61 ERA and similarly discouraging peripheral metrics. Never one to miss many bats, Gonzalez has averaged 6.1 K/9 so far in 2018, and his typical otherworldly control has taken a step back. While his 2.4 BB/9 mark is still strong, it’s also a bit of a step back from the career 1.8 mark he’d posted at the Triple-A level prior to 2018. The real problem for Gonzalez, however, was the long ball; he’d previously been stingy in that regard but has been hammered for seven homers in his 33 2/3 frames. The former Phillies prospect does have strong K/BB numbers in 66 Major League innings (all with Philadelphia), but he’s nonetheless logged a 6.68 ERA as a big leaguer.
As for Burnett, the 35-year-old veteran has appeared in parts of nine Major League seasons and had a nice peak from 2009-12 as an excellent setup man for the Pirates and Nationals before undergoing Tommy John surgery after signing a two-year deal with the Angels. Burnett has continued to grind since injuries ruined his two-year stint with the Halos, and he briefly resurfaced in the Majors with the 2016 Nats.
He didn’t pitch in the Majors or minors in 2017, and while his 5.49 ERA in 19 2/3 innings this season looks ugly, there’s still some reason to believe he could have something left in the tank. Burnett notched an outstanding 23-to-5 K/BB ratio in those 19 2/3 innings, allowing just two homers along the way and registering a 48.4 percent ground-ball rate. And while he allowed far too many hits in New Orleans (30, to be exact), he was also plagued by a sky-high .452 average on balls in play. Burnett punched out nine of the 25 lefties he faced (36 percent) without allowing a walk, so perhaps a club could view him as a potential situational lefty at the very least.