Was Sugar Ray Marimon Robbed of a No-hit Bid? | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

Was Sugar Ray Marimon Robbed of a No-hit Bid?

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – As the sun set and the air cooled over Veterans Memorial Stadium on Wednesday, Kane County Cougar pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon (Low A-Royals) kept getting hotter. His fastball popped, his splitter vanished and the hometown Kernels, slogging under the weight of an eight-game losing streak, couldn’t connect. The 22-year-old Columbia native had held them hittless through seven innings, and it seemed to the few hundred fans still remaining that Marimon was on pace to notch a feat that’s sweeter than his first name: a no-hitter.

But after a Kernel reached on an overthrow by the third baseman with two out in the eighth, Kane County pitching coach Jim Brower abruptly pulled Marimon. The pitcher wasn’t hurt or tired – he had walked just two batters. But with only  four outs to go, he had barely eclipsed the 100-pitch limit that the Royals set for all minor league pitchers in the franchise.

“I felt good, I wanted to continue,” Marimon told KCRG TV through an interpreter.

The station reports:

“I called (the Royals) in the seventh inning and told them there’s a situation that’s playing out now,” said Kane County pitching coach Jim Brower. “They said this was organizational policy, wish him the best. We had a guy who could follow up with a zero, and it worked out. For the team. For Marimon, it would have been great to keep him out there.”

Luckily for Marimon, reliever Chas Byrne shut the door on the Kernels and preserved a team no hitter – still a fine accomplishment, which was duly celebrated by a mob of Cougars at the pitcher’s mound.

Still, this prompts the head v. heart question: if a minor league pitcher feels good and is near a no-hitter or perfect game, should the franchise allow him to continue? Or should managers stick to the pitch limits intended to keep him healthy?

As a former catcher, I’ve long erred on the side of caution when it comes to a pitcher’s arm – especially one that is still young. But I’m wondering whether the big club should have bent the rules this time. He was so close. Who knows if he’ll get another shot at such a feat in professional ball?

You make the call: Was Sugar Ray robbed?

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Jim Malewitz is a ginger and former Grinnell College catcher, who just received a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Iowa. He will spend this summer reporting for KCRG TV and The Cedar Rapids Gazette. Check out his past work at IowaWatch.org.

1 Comment

  1. Christian says:

    Championships, accolades, awards in the minor leagues are great…. but the idea is to win at the big league level. Sure, no-hitters and other outstanding individual feats give the fans something to cheer about in Modesto, Pawtucket and Huntsville (and Cedar Rapids). But minor leaguers should be focused on getting good enough to do that under the big lights against the big boys.