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Marlins Promote JJ Bleday, Put Jorge Solera Injured

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Marlins pick former first-round pick Jay Jay Bledey and added him to the active list, according to Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald (via twitter). The addition of Bleday to the list occurs in response to Jorge Soler making the 10-day injury list for low back spasms.

There are no backdated dates for Soler’s placement in IL, so an experienced slugger will be (at a minimum) taken out of action before the August 2 trade deadline. Although Miami has a few players who could trade chips by the deadline, there hasn’t been much buzz about the possibility of a trade for Solera, which speaks to both Solera’s contract and the Marlins’ long-term plans and his tough 2022 season.

Soler, the current World Series MVP, signed a three-year, $36 million contract with the Marlins as a free agent after the lockout. Soler has the option to opt out both after this season (leaving $24 million on the table) and after the 2023 season (leaving his $9 million salary for 2024 on the table), though it’s unlikely that Soler will experience free rein again. . the heels of a disappointing year to date.

Soler hit .207/.295/.400 with 13 home runs in 306 plate appearances, with 99 wRC+, reflecting a slightly below average performance. Despite the lack of big numbers, there is some evidence that Soler could have turned him on in the second half. After all, it was only last season that Soler burst into tears after being traded to the Braves at the deadline, and he more or less carried that hot streak throughout the World Series.

Soler has an outstanding hard-contact record this year and a .322 xwOBA that is above his .305 wOBA, even if that .322 mark is only around the league average. Soler also walks at above average speed, but swings hard and misses a ton, as his 29.4% of strikeouts are only in the ninth percentile of all hitters. Teams play in shifts with Soler 78% of the time, which limits his solid contact numbers – Soler only has a .275 wOBA against a shift and a whopping .411 wOBA when he’s not facing a shift.

Injuries have also taken their toll in the past few weeks, as Soler missed about two weeks in early July with bilateral pelvic inflammatory disease and only played five games before his most recent return to IL. It remains to be seen how much extra time Soler might miss (if more than 10 days), but his absence will open the door for Bledey’s Major League debut.

Fourth overall pick in the 2019 draft, Bleday hit .229/.365/.470 with 20 home runs out of 367 PAs in Triple-A Jacksonville this season, his first exposure to Triple-A pitching. It’s a good break for Bledey, who didn’t score much on his short minor league debut in 2019 and then struggled in his first full pro ball season in 2021. His lack of results last year cost Bledey a place in the top 100. prospect ranking, but MLB Pipeline was still ranked 69th on the preseason list.

Of course, Bledey didn’t play at all in 2020 due to the cancellation of the minor league season, so it’s no wonder it’s taken a while to get back on track. The 24-year-old’s performance in 2022 seems to have cleared up a lot of questions about his power potential and ability on base, although Bledey still doesn’t average and still hits and misses (99 strikeouts at that 367 PA). at a high rate.

Bledey’s strong shooting arm made him more of a candidate for right field than his original position in center field, and in Miami Avisile Garcia could move to left field to provide the rookie with regular playing time, or Bledey could simply take over left field. With the Marlins possibly already planning for 2023, Bledey could very well be a potential candidate for the everyday spot next year. Assuming Soler won’t give up, he and Garcia are long-term options in the corners of the outfield, but DH is also available to juggle game time down the road.


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