The Marlins plan to designate left-hander Devin Smeltzer for assignment prior to today’s game, reports Noah Berger of Fish On First. Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extra Base adds that Smeltzer’s spot on the roster will go to southpaw Enmanuel De Jesus, whose contract is being selected from Triple-A Jacksonville.
This marks a jarring fourth DFA of the season for Smeltzer, who signed a minor league contract with Miami over the winter. He’s had his contract selected to the big league roster on four different occasions but been jettisoned to waivers after a brief stay in each instance. Most recently Smeltzer mopped up 3 2/3 innings in yesterday’s blowout loss to the Dodgers. Pitching on his 28th birthday, Smeltzer came into a 6-0 game and was tagged for four runs, though he spared the Marlins from depleting their bullpen in a game that was largely out of hand before he took the mound. In 22 1/3 innings this year, Smeltzer has a 6.45 ERA.
Smeltzer, a former Dodgers draft pick, went to the Twins as part of a Brian Dozier trade and spent parts of four seasons with Minnesota, pitching to a combined 3.99 ERA in 140 innings of work. That includes 70 1/3 frames of 3.71 ERA ball last year, though that success came with a tepid 13.9% strikeout rate. Smeltzer has never missed many bats at the MLB level, evidenced by a career 16.5% strikeout rate, but he’s also only walked 6% of his opponents — a far better-than-average mark. Overall, he has a 4.32 ERA in 162 1/3 big league innings. He’ll be placed back on waivers for a fourth time within the next five days.
De Jesus, 26, will make his big league debut the first time he takes the mound. Originally a Red Sox signee, he spent the 2022 season in the Giants’ minor league system and signed a minor league pact with the Marlins over the winter. He’s pitched 87 minor league frames for the Fish this year (all but seven coming in Triple-A), logging a 4.86 ERA with a 17% strikeout rate, 12.4% walk rate and 40% ground-ball rate.
In parts of three seasons at the Triple-A level, De Jesus has worked to a 4.69 earned run average. He’s been working out of the rotation in Jacksonville and could give Miami some length in the bullpen. The Marlins also still have Sunday’s starter listed as TBD, so De Jesus could potentially be an option that day if he’s not used in relief prior to that contest.