The Marlins have sent right-hander Eli Villalobos outright to Double-A Pensacola, per his transactions tracker at MLB.com. That indicates he cleared waivers after being designated for assignment on Monday.
Villalobos, now 26, first got his roster spot in November of last year when the Marlins added him to the 40-man to prevent him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. He got that spot based on his strong performance last year, posting a 2.86 ERA in 78 2/3 innings split between Double-A and Triple-A. He struck out 32.7% of batters faced while issuing walks at a 9.4% clip.
Yet when the club needed a roster spot in the first week of April, Villalobos was designated for assignment and went to the Pirates on a waiver claim. He was in that club’s system for about two months before they put him back on waivers and he was claimed by the Marlins, back to where he started.
Amid those transactions, he’s posted a 6.26 ERA in 23 minor league innings, walking an incredible 19.5% of batters faced. His third time on waivers resulted in him clearing and he will now stick in the Marlins’ system. He still hasn’t made it to the majors and thus has no service time. Since this is his first career outright, he won’t have the right to elect free agency, providing the Marlins with some non-roster pitching depth on their farm as he looks to work his way back to the majors.