Sean Marshall’s 2015 Season Is a Crucial Season


Travel back with me to recount the trade which brought Sean Marshall to the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds acquired Marshall form the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Travis Wood, outfielder Dave Sappelt, and minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes. When the trade was made, some suggested the Reds gave up too much. As we look at the pieces and what has transpired, it almost seems like a wash.

Wood was selected to be a member of the 2013 NL All-Star squad. His numbers as a Cub aren’t too flattering especially since 2014 was a bit of a stinker. He owns a record of 23-38 (89 GS) with an ERA of 4.08 and WHIP of 1.288. Over the three seasons he has spent in the Windy City, his FIP is 4.33.

More from Reds News

Sappelt was released by the Cubs after 2013. The Phillies signed him not too long after his release, but they released him the following spring. He never saw major league play last season. In fact, Sappelt spent last season in independent ball and the Mexican League.

Torreyes became a member of the Houston Astros organization during the 2013 season. While some that attended Dayton Dragons games recall him more as a second baseman, but he has also played left, center, third base and shortstop since joining the Houston organization. After all, cracking second base on that squad would be a tough haul.

So, that’s what the Reds gave up. What have the Reds gotten from Marshall? Here’s a breakdown for Marshall’s full season and the partial season of 2013. 2014’s numbers are laid out on their own. When you see them, your eyes will bulge.

[table id=48 /]

Told you your eyes would bulge.

Let’s not forget that for a period of time in 2012, Marshall was the Reds closer. He didn’t fare well in that role due largely to a ghastly BABIP. Once the decision was made to place Aroldis Chapman as the closer and move Marshall to 8th inning duties, Marshall breezed through the remainder of the 2012 season. I dare say he may have been the top 8th inning pitcher in all of baseball after that move was made.

We know the rest here. Both 2013 and 2014 were cut short due to shoulder issues. The difference being that the injuries didn’t have as profound effect on his stats for 2013 as they did for 2014. As you now know, 2014 was rather deplorable. According to Fangraphs, Marshall had only one pitch which was considered a plus pitch: the two-seam fastball. It was rated at 4.33 and Marshall threw it 13/1% of the time. But that’s not really much to go on since he only hurled 14 innings last season.

Cincinnati Reds

I’ll add this to the stack. Across the board Marshall has lost 3 MPH on all of his pitches since 2012. Granted, the shoulder issues do have something to do with that. A healthy left shoulder would certainly be welcome not only to Marshall, but to the team and Reds fans as well.

No question that not having Marshall available for the entirety of the past two seasons has created issues with the bullpen. Not so much in 2013 as last season, but Marshall was to hold a key role at that back-end.

And now the lefty reliever faces crossroads as the 2015 season approaches. Two seasons lost and entering the final year of a three-year, $16.5 million deal. He’s due to make $6.5 million this season. He’ll turn 33 during 2015. To say 2015 is critical for Marshall’s baseball future may be a vast understatement.

If Marshall returns to his form from his days in Chicago and his first season in Cincinnati, no questions teams will be interested in his service after 2015. Teams may come calling before 2015 is even over putting the Reds in a precarious situation.