There are not very many players left from last season’s Miami Marlins team. Ricky Nolasco is going to be forced into the role of ace this season for Miami after the team traded Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle away in the off-season.
Nolasco has the talent to be a solid pitcher, but is not an ace by anyone’s estimation. This is just another case of why the Marlins’ fire sale was one of the worst things for MLB.
The righty went 12-13 last season with a 4.48 ERA in 31 starts. He has had better seasons in the past, but Nolasco isn’t really the pitcher for the role of No. 1 starter in a rotation. The 30-year old has had one season over his seven years with the Marlins where his ERA was under 4.48, and that was in 2008.
The definition of an ace pitcher is pretty clear in that they should be able to shut down the opposition and end a team’s losing streak. Nolasco isn’t that pitcher, and is having an awful spring training right now in preparation for his new role.
Nolasco has a 7.27 ERA in his three starts and while I understand that it is just spring training, the numbers have to improve from here on out.
The Marlins are likely not going anywhere this season, and seem poised to lose 100 games. It is going to be up to Nolasco to win at least 15 or 16 games just for the team to have one pitcher that is respectable. It is going to be a very difficult job for him, and I’m not positive it is one that he can handle.