Marlins seeking bullpen help
With Matt Lindstrom on the disabled list, and Leo Nunez dealing with a right ankle sprain, it’s no secret that the Marlins are exploring bullpen help.
Kiko Calero also is on the disabled with with right shoulder inflammation, but he is expected back around July 3.
Already, a couple of names have been floated out there in speculation. Right-hander Luis Ayala was designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday after he appeared in 28 games.
According to an American League scout who saw Ayala pitch recently: “He’s done. He’s got nothing left.”
The scout added that he wouldn’t recommend Ayala to his organization. That doesn’t mean the Marlins share the same point of view. The scout noted that Ayala is a Calero-type pitcher, meaning he throws a fastball and slider and has a similar style. Calero has been effective for Florida.
In his last outing, on June 20, Ayala’s fastball was between 89-91 mph.
LaTroy Hawkins of the Astros is another right-hander who may be available through a trade.
The trouble the Marlins are facing is every contending team is in the same boat — they all want relief help. For the candidates who might be available, the price is expected to be high.
The Marlins alternatives are to stay with what they have, patch the pen together until Lindstrom returns in four to six weeks, or try to catch lightning in the bottle with a journeyman such as Ayala. Typically, the Marlins won’t take on money if the player they are bringing in is not a real upgrade over what they already have.
If they are more creative, the Marlins may end up dealing away a regular and look to make a bigger impact. In 2004, Florida put together a deal that included Brad Penny and they acquired from the Dodgers Paul Lo Duca, Juan Encarnacion and Guillermo Mota.
The Marlins could offer either outfielder Jeremy Hermida or Cody Ross — both arbitration-eligible — in hopes of luring in a veteran reliever. With Cameron Maybin playing better at Triple-A New Orleans, he could fill center field if the Marlins opt to deal a regular.
In the meantime, the team will explore all possibilities.
– Joe Frisaro