Despite the Miami Marlins losing the heartbeat of their team, management hasn’t given up. The Fish’s have bolstered their bullpen. With clear signs of deficiency in their rotation, the team’s will rely heavily upon their newest additions at the back end of their ‘pen and on upcoming arms who have shown signs of brilliance during their respective stints in MLB. There’s no doubt the Marlins bullpen will be a key to their success.
Marlins Bullpen is a Key to Success
A Thin Rotation
The loss of Jose Fernandez left a hole in many people’s hearts and in the Marlins rotation. The signing of Edinson Volquez did little to fill that hole. However, the additions they made to their bullpen will very much work towards limiting their runs allowed. With no identifiable ace, Wei-Yin Chen will head the rotation. The team will also look for the progress made by Adam Conley last season. Tom Koehler, always a dependable option in their rotation, will look to take on a bigger role. Jeff Locke is no certainty to stay in the rotation for the duration of the season.
The likes of Justin Nicolino and Jake Esch have opportunities to crack the starting rotation this season. Presuming they begin the season in Triple-A, it might not be out of the question to see Luis Castillo and Jarlin Garcia. It would be in a minimal capacity during at least some juncture of the upcoming 2017 campaign.
An Overflow of Relief Options
There’s no doubt the additions of Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa have bettered Miami. What their additions allow is for Kyle Barraclough and other effective bullpen arms to work earlier. David Phelps was very effective last season; Brian Ellington and Nick Wittgren are poised to have solid sophomore campaigns. Phelps saw stints in the rotation last season, during which he was very effective; his presence in that role isn’t out of the question entirely, even out of Spring Training. In spite of switching roles for a time last season, A.J. Ramos will close games for Miami this season, at least out of camp. Despite his All-Star appearance, Ramos was supplanted by Fernando Rodney, who proved disastrous as a member of the Marlins organization.
Pitching was a point of weakness for Miami last season. With the passing of Fernandez, it’s more so. Volquez is a dependable option, despite allowing a career-worst 113 earned runs last season. The Marlins are going to have a difficult time competing in the National League East. The division features two of the most phenomenal rotations in baseball, in the Washington Nationals and New York Mets, the later of which hopes for good health to be on their side more this season. The 2016 campaign ravaged their rotation with seemingly perpetual injuries, no doubt the prime reason for their early exit from the postseason following their World Series loss to the Kansas City Royals. Such a fate would be severely less painful for the Marlins, with the truth being their strong suit is in the bullpen.