2021 Miami Marlins: Bass Will Attempt to Fill Kintzler’s Shoes

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2021 Miami Marlins
PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 20: Anthony Bass #52 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws a pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 20, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Blue Jays defeated the Phillies 6-3. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The 2021 MLB free-agent class activity has picked up as we near the start of Spring Training. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Anthony Bass and the 2021 Miami Marlins signed a two-year, $5 million deal with a 3rd-year option for 2023. The last three seasons have been productive for Bass.

He has become a reliable, consistent arm out of the pen. His productivity offers Miami a replacement for Kintzler. Bass pitched in 26 games, tallying a 2-3 record/ 3.51 ERA. Bass recorded seven saves in 25.2 innings, holding hitters to a .189 batting average in 2020. That is damn impressive. A depressed economic landscape due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have helped the Marlins acquire Bass at such bargain value. The acquisition of Bass offers a big upside.

The Marlins faced a major decision this offseason on how to fill their CL role; with available FA veterans or young arms from the farm. The 2021 Miami Marlins signed reliever Anthony Bass to compete with Yimi Garcia who the Marlins signed in the 2020 offseason. This competition keeps everyone sharp during the long grind of baseball.

Prior to his stop in Toronto, Bass played for Seattle (2019), the Chicago Cubs (2018), Texas (2015, 2017), Houston (2014), and San Diego (2011-2013).

The Marlins farm system has produced a stable of starting pitchers; with the combination of Sandy Alcantara, Sixto Sanchez, Max Meyer, Edward Cabrera. We can look back at the names; Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, AJ Burnette, and Josh Johnson to see the highly productive track record of the Miami Marlins Pitching Farm system.

2021 Miami Marlins: Ng Continues to Build the Pen

Over the previous three seasons, Bass has pitched to a combined 3.44 ERA with a 3.89 SIERA, a below-league-average strikeout rate of 22.2 %, and an 8.2% walk rate.

Bass has a 4.32 career ERA, 4.12 FIP, 1.32 WHIP, and 6.42 K/9. These metrics are promising and project Bass as an integral part of the Miami pen.

Jake Mailhot of Fangraphs mentions a good way to compare pitchers to the league average is to use ERA- and FIP-, which is basically the pitching version of wRC+. Every point below 100 is a point better than the league average. In his past three seasons, Bass has an ERA- 78 and a FIP- of 83. the right-hander ranked in the 95th percentile or better in terms of opponents’ barrel rate, expected batting average against, expected slugging percentage, expected ERA, and expected wOBA.

His sinker sat in just the eighth percentile in terms of spin rate, which is actually a good trait for sinkers, where low spin is preferable (as opposed to high spin on a four-seamer). Based on Jake’s notes, his advanced metrics valid his success and do show a promising 2021 for Anthony Bass.

https://twitter.com/fishstripes/status/1352698916928630785
2021 Miami Marlins

Bass posted back-to-back strong seasons for the Mariners and Blue Jays. The Marlins are valuing his pitch selection approach since returning from Japan. In those two seasons, Bass posted a 0.99 WHIP and 64/26 K/BB ratio over 73 IP. His consistency and durability are most appealing for an organization like Miami. The 33-year will compete with Yimi Garcia for 9th inning duties.

In 2020, Anthony Bass pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays, signing a $1.5M (USD) contract in December of 2019. While his AAV has increased, it is due to his performance. Bass was among the leaders in GP and IP; appearing in 26 games, recording 7 saves, 2 Blown Saves, and a 3.51 ERA. This was a strong season for the right-handed relief pitcher, and one of his best seasons during his MLB career.

The inexperience of the Marlins’ bullpen group will benefit from Bass and Ross Detwiler signings this offseason. Last offseason signee Yimi Garcia and lefty Richard Bleier, are the only Miami relievers with at least 150 big league innings.

In terms of filling the void left by Kintlzer, Bass provides similar pitch results. Jake Mailhot points out that “honing his pitch mix towards his slider” has fueled the high groundball rate. Bass posted the sixth-highest groundball rate among all qualified relievers in 2020. The combination of confidence on the mound, an aggressive fastball, and consistent slider location have benefitted Bass.

SportsGrid’s Craig Mish first reported the agreement (via Twitter), and MLB.com’s Jon Morosi reported the length of the deal. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported the financials.

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