The Marlins announced Tuesday that they’ve selected the contracts of right-hander Tyler Kinley and first baseman/outfielder Peter O’Brien from Triple-A New Orleans. Veteran infielder Martin Prado and first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper were each transferred to the 60-day DL in order to clear space on the 40-man roster.
This promotion will mark the Marlins debut for Kinley, whom the Marlins selected in the 16th round of the 2013 draft, but it won’t be his big league debut. Kinley, 27, was selected by the Twins in last December’s Rule 5 Draft and broke camp in Minnesota, though he lasted just 3 1/3 innings before being cut loose. The righty has big-time velocity, averaging 96 mph on his heater and reaching triple digits at times, but as is so often the case, control has been an issue for him. Kinley averaged five walks per nine innings pitched in New Orleans this season, though a 12.6 K/9 mark helped him to mitigate some of the damage.
In 3 1/3 innings with the Twins this season, Kinley was clobbered for nine runs on nine hits and four walks with four strikeouts. In his 40 Triple-A frames, though, he posted a much better 2.93 ERA despite his struggles to locate the ball effectively.
O’Brien, meanwhile, came to the Marlins from the Dodgers (in exchange for cash) back in a minor June swap. He wasn’t hitting his weight with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate (.150/.241/.390), but he’s righted the ship with the Miami organization. In 174 PAs with the Marlins’ Double-A affiliate, O’Brien hit .215/.345/.514, and he’s currently hitting .277/.385/.598 through 135 Triple-A PAs in his new organization. O’Brien still strikes out far too much, but he’s dropped his strikeout rate from a ghastly 39.3 percent in the Dodgers organization to 28.9 percent since the trade.
This won’t be O’Brien’s first look in the Majors. Back in 2014, the D-backs actually traded Prado to the Yankees in order to acquire O’Brien, betting on his considerable raw power in spite of some pronounced defensive question marks. The uncertainty surrounding O’Brien’s glovework — he was a catcher at the time of that trade — proved valid, as he’s since spent time at first base and in the outfield corners. He’s yet to produce in the Majors and has struggled in the upper minors in recent seasons as well, but his run with Miami has been his most encouraging showing at any level since his 2015 season with Arizona’s top minor league affiliate.
Beyond those moves, the Marlins also announced that both Jarlin Garcia and Elieser Hernandez were activated from the 10-day disabled list. Additionally, infielder/outfielder Christopher Bostick was recalled from New Orleans, though each of that trio was already on the 40-man roster.