The Marlins announced Tuesday that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Brian Moran and catcher Tyler Heineman from Triple-A New Orleans. In order to open space on the 40-man roster, Miami transferred Brian Anderson from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list and designated catcher Wilkin Castillo for assignment. Additionally, outfielder Magneuris Sierra was recalled from New Orleans and added to the active roster.
Sierra, 23, will rejoin the club for the first time since the 2018 season. Acquired with Sandy Alcantara in the trade that sent Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis, it was hoped that he could serve as a long-term piece in the Miami outfield mix. That didn’t look to be the case by any stretch of the imagination in 2018 when Sierra batted just .190/.222/.211 in 156 big league plate appearances with the Marlins. His 2019 season in the minors has been better but not particularly impressive; in 549 trips to the plate between Double-A and Triple-A, Sierra has batted .275/.316/.387 with seven homers, 19 doubles, nine triples and 33 stolen bases (in 44 attempts).
This will be a big month for Sierra, who’ll be out of minor league options in 2020. That’s not to say he’s at jeopardy of losing his 40-man spot if he doesn’t show well in September, but a strong final impression in 2019 would surely improve his positioning for the 2020 campaign. Conversely, if he flounders in a similar fashion to his 2018 struggles, he’ll make it difficult for the organization to bank on any contributions from him next year.
Neither Heineman nor Moran seems like a long-term piece for the Marlins, but each will get his first look at the MLB level this month. Heineman, 28, was acquired from the D-backs in exchange for cash back in June. He’s batted a combined .336/.400/.590 in the Pacific Coast League’s supercharged offensive environment but has never hit much in four prior seasons at that level (most coming with the Astros, who drafted him in the eighth round back in 2012).
Moran will turn 31 later this month and has grinded through 10 minor league seasons leading up to today’s breakthrough to the Major Leagues. It’s undoubtedly an emotional day for the former Mariners farmhand, who has pitched to a 3.15 ERA with 11.6 K/9 against 3.9 BB/9 in 60 innings of relief in New Orleans this season. Moran has spent parts of five seasons in Triple-A, compiling a 3.67 ERA with 11.5 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 in 176 2/3 innings.
Anderson was already known to be done for the season after incurring a fractured hand last month. Miami’s best all-around player, the 26-year-old Anderson batted .261/.342/.468 with a career-high 20 home runs and 33 doubles in 520 plate appearances this year. He’s controlled all the way through the 2023 season and looks like a building block in South Florida.
Castillo, meanwhile, returned to the Majors in 2019 for the first time in a decade. He appeared in just two games but nonetheless was able to relish the bright lights of the Major Leagues after a long journey through the minors. Castillo has just 24 big league games to his credit, but the 35-year-old has played in 581 career Triple-A games, hitting .245/.283/.358 along the way.