The Marlins have selected the contract of veteran right-hander Hector Noesi to start tonight’s game and designated infielder Yadiel Rivera for assignment in order to clear roster space, per a club announcement.
Noesi, 32, will return to the big leagues for the first time since 2015 when he takes the mound tonight. He spent the interim seasons pitching for the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization and throwing rather well; in 582 1/3 KBO innings, Noesi notched a 3.79 ERA with 6.6 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9.
The well-traveled righty has enjoyed a strong season thus far in a deadly Triple-A environment for pitchers, working to a 3.82 ERA with 9.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 39.4 percent ground-ball rate. That 3.82 ERA might not sound like much, but Noesi, somewhat remarkably, is one of just seven qualified starters in all of Triple-A with an ERA south of 4.00. The adoption of the homer-happy big league ball in Triple-A has transformed an already hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League into a nightmare for pitchers, and the International League has become extremely hitter-friendly as well.
Noesi’s success has come, in part, due to some good fortune. He’s averaged a whopping 1.94 homers per nine innings pitched, but the majority of the round-trippers he’s yielded have been of the solo variety. He’s likely a short-term option for the Marlins anyhow, although the trades of Zac Gallen and Trevor Richards have thinned out the Miami staff somewhat.
The 27-year-old Rivera appeared in 34 games with Miami but made just 66 plate appearances. He managed only a meager .183/.258/.217 batting line in that time — a similar output to the .173/.269/.216 slash he logged last season in 160 plate appearances as a Marlin.