Miami Marlins

As trade rumors swirl, Marlins closer Kyle Barraclough named NL’s top reliever in June

Miami Marlins relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough (46) and Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto celebrate the 5-2 victory over the Mets at Marlins Park in Miami, Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Miami Marlins relief pitcher Kyle Barraclough (46) and Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto celebrate the 5-2 victory over the Mets at Marlins Park in Miami, Saturday, June 30, 2018.

Kyle Barraclough’s ridiculously good pitching during the past month didn’t go unnoticed.

Barraclough, who recorded seven of his eight saves this season in June without allowing a run, was named the National League’s Reliever of the Month on Monday.

Barraclough assumed the closer role at the start of June and has not allowed a run in his past 21 appearances entering Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's nice to get the recognition but I have to keep doing my job and there's a few more months of the season left," Barraclough said.

Barraclough entered Monday riding a career-best streak of 20 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, the second-longest active streak in the majors behind the Diamondbacks’ Yoshihisa Hirano (22 1/3 innings).

Barraclough also recently put together a career-best streak of 11 2/3 innings without allowing a hit, which was snapped Friday night when Brandon Nimmo hit a bloop single in the ninth inning of the Marlins’ 8-2 victory.

That streak was the third longest in team history behind Armando Benitez’s streaks of 14 1/3 and 12 consecutive hitless innings in 2004.

Barraclough, 28, has allowed only 10 hits in 36 1/3 innings and compiled a 0.99 ERA in 37 appearances overall with 39 strikeouts and 17 walks.

Since May 1, Barraclough has led all relievers holding opponents to a .041 batting average.

"I think just attacking the strike zone and really getting ahead of the hitters has really put everyone more on the defensive," Barraclough said. "Just not falling into those hitter's counts. Getting ahead has really allowed me to utilize my off speed stuff and really attack."

Barraclough, who is likely to get All-Star consideration, has also been attracting trade interest from multiple teams according to reports.

According to MLB.com, the L.A. Dodgers and Boston Red Sox are among the teams that have approached the Marlins about a trade for Barraclough, and ’ setup relievers Drew Steckenrider and Adam Conley.

However, the asking price would be very high for any of the three as none will be free agents until after the 2021 season.

Barraclough and Steckenrider became only the second pair of relievers to pitch 12 or more scoreless innings in the month of June since 1920.

Conley, 28, has flourished since becoming a setup reliever this season.

After three years spent pitching primarily as a starter, Conley is 2-0 with a 1.56 ERA in 17 1/3 innings (17 appearances) with 18 strikeouts and four walks in his new role. Conley, like Barraclough, won’t be a free agent until after the 2021 season.

Steckenrider, 27, is in the midst of his own career-best scoreless streak (15 2/3 innings). Steckenrider, who is 3-1 with a 3.28 ERA, 42 strikeouts and 15 walks, wouldn’t be a free agent until after the 2023 season.

COMING UP

Tuesday: Miami Marlins RHP Trevor Richards (2-5, 5.06 ERA) vs. Tampa Bay Rays TBA, 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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