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2 posts from March 9, 2014

March 09, 2014

Carlos Marmol to make spring debut; Marlins bullpen battles wide open

JUPITER -- The Marlins and manager Mike Redmond will be looking for some clarity to an extremely muddled bullpen picture when Carlos Marmol makes his spring debut this afternoon. Marmol's first outing for the Marlins was delayed due to his return to the Dominican Republic to sort out visa issues.

It's hard to envision any scenario in which Marmol doesn't make the team.

But, outside of Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn, the rest of the bullpen picture is unclear.

"We have a bunch of guys fighting for those spots," Redmond said. "We're looking for guys to step up. It's going to be an interesting battle to see who can be most consistent and earn it."

Redmond said he was impressed with Henry Rodriguez's first outing Saturday when the hard-throwing, but erratic, right-hander struck out three in one inning of work.

"From what I saw yesterday -- and I know it's only one outing -- but it was pretty impressive," Redmond said. "He's got an arm. To have a guy coming out of there with 98 (mph) against some right-handed hitters would be pretty nice."

Redmond was more guarded in his comments when asked about Carter Capps, the hard-throwing right-hander the Marlins acquired from Seattle in the Logan Morrison trade. Redmond said Capps is "doing OK."

"He's only been pitching for a few years," Redmond said. "We just need to keep getting him out there and get him comfortable on the mound, and get his innings."

There are essentially a slew of contenders for three spots: a long man, a right-hander and another lefty.

"We lost (Ryan) Webb and we lost (Chad) Qualls, and we need guys to step up and fill those innings," Redmond said. "We've got to replace those innings."

Kevin Slowey looked sharp in his two spring appearance and has re-emerged as a leading candidate for the long spot. The Marlins also turn to bullpen help from among the handful of pitchers who are presently vying for starting rotation spots, including Brad Hand and Tom Koehler.

Others who figure to be in the mix include: Arquimedes Caminero, Dan Jennings, Chaz Roe, Josh Spence and Chris Hatcher.

"These guys have got to earn it," Redmond said. "For me, every outing is big for guys. We have so many pitchers, and we're trying to get a look at so many different guys. Honestly, any time they get the ball it's important. There's just not enough innings out there for guys to kind of ease into it. I want to see what you got. So if guys are holding back for something, it's probably not the time to hold back."

Redmond runs out his "A" lineup for Tigers

JUPITER -- Mike Redmond is going with his projected Opening Day lineup this afternoon when the Marlins face the Detroit Tigers. It marks the first time this spring that Redmond is going with his "A" team, with only the addition of designated hitter Greg Dobbs distinguishing today's starting eight (Tom Koehler, not Jose Fernandez, is starting this afternoon) with the one he'll likely employ against the Colorado Rockies on March 31 in the season opener.

"I think it's important, more than anything, just to have guys be with the guys they're going to be out there with grinding throughout the year, to get them playing with each other as you quick as you can," Redmond said.

1. Rafael Furcal, 2b; 2. Christian Yelich, lf; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 4. Garrett Jones, 1b; 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c; 6. Marcell Ozuna, cf; 7. Casey McGehee, 3b; 8. Greg Dobbs, dh; 9. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss. Pitching: Tom Koehler.

Miguel Cabrera is in the lineup today for the Tigers:

Tigers: 1. Ian Kinsler, 2b; 2. Trevor Crowe, lf; 3. Miguel Cabrera, 1b; 4. Alex Avila, dh; 5. Austin Jackson, cf; 6. Tyler Collins, rf; 7. Nick Castellanos, 3b; 8. Bryan Holaday, c; 9. Hernan Perez, ss. Pitching: Rick Porcello.

The Marlins have also settled on the travel squad it will be taking to Panama for next weekend's two-game set against the New York Yankees.

Most prominent among Marlins heading down to Central America: Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria and Garrett Jones. Nathan Eovaldi and Brad Hand look to be the likely starters in the two games on March 15 and 16.

"I had some guys who really wanted to go," Redmond said, adding that Stanton and reliever A.J. Ramos were two who volunteered. "When guys say they want to go on that trip, you want to let them go. I'm sure some guys are disappointed they're not going."

Redmond said the staff tried to divide the roster because of the three Grapefruit League games the Marlins will be playing in Florida while the other half of the team is in Panama.


For those wondering, the Marlins had one of the lowest payrolls in baseball when John Henry owned the team for two years. In response to the weak contingent the Boston Red Sox sent to Jupiter on Thursday and the flap that ensued, Henry on Saturday took a not-so-subtle dig at the Marlins on Twitter by saying it's the Marlins who should apologize for their regular-season lineups.

Henry didn't exactly shell it out when he owned the Marlins. The Marlins ranked 29th of 30 teams in 2000 with an Opening Day payroll of $19.9 million and 27th of 30 teams in 2001 with a payroll of $35.7 million. One notable difference, however: MLB's revenue sharing plan as it currently exists didn't go into effect until 2002, the year Henry took over in Boston and Jeffrey Loria assumed control of the Marlins.