He is almost 29 years old, so he is no longer a young prospect; his numbers are terrible; and he has shown no sign of improvement throughout his career. In fact, he seems to be getting worse.
I am not sure why the Marlins keep this guy around. Not only does his fastball rarely, if ever, reach 90 mph, but it also seems like it is often a meatball right over the middle of the plate. When you throw at Greg Maddux-like speeds, you had better have some decent control or wicked movement on your pitches.
LeBlanc has neither.
It feels like the Marlins only keep him around because he is their token lefty in the rotation. Personally, I would rather not have one if LeBlanc is all they have.
Aside from his debut for the San Diego Padres in 2008, when he posted an ERA of 8.02 in 5 games and allowed opposing hitters to hit .330 off of him, this campaign is his worst statistical major-league season of his career. This year, LeBlanc is 0-5 with a 5.79 ERA. He rarely gets missed at the plate, allowing 48 hits in his 37.1 innings and an average of .310. Essentially the opposing batter who is facing LeBlanc this season becomes an All-Star.
When you are pitching for a team that averages roughly 2.8 runs scored per game, a pitcher like LeBlanc just is not going to cut it. The rest of the players would never say it, but I am sure they do not expect to win when LeBlanc takes the hill to start a game. Fortunately, LeBlanc has been removed from his starting role for now and placed in the bullpen, but I think it would be best if he was just released. His control issues will only be magnified coming out of the 'pen.
In the end, there is really no hope for this guy to be a valuable part of this team now or in the future. His numbers in the major leagues have not shown any sign of getting better. At a time when the Marlins are rebuilding and focusing on young talent, I think they should call up a promising youngster and give him a chance to show what he has rather than let LeBlanc continue to bite the dust.
Brett grew up in south Florida and has been a lifelong Marlins fan. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Sport Management. Follow him on Twitter @B_Zager.
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