Marlins closer situation unsettled
MIAMI — Matchups may determine who next gets the save opportunity for the Marlins.
Steve Cishek, who has five of Miami’s six saves, has struggled, especially against left-handed hitters. So, for now, Cishek isn’t automatically getting the call to close first.
Chad Qualls polished off the ninth inning in a non-save situation for the Marlins on Monday night in their 5-1 victory over the Phillies. But had it been a save chance, Qualls was coming in. He began warming up when it was a 2-1 game before Miami scored three times in the eighth.
“We’d used [Cishek] a couple of days, and we’re trying to get him into some situations, get him more consistent than he’s been,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Qualls hadn’t pitched in five days, and we were planning on using him tonight anyway. It just worked out that we could use him in the ninth.”
Qualls last had a save in 2010 when he was with the D-backs. He had 12 that season, and 24 in 2009 in Arizona.
Pressed on who is the closer, Redmond was more direct: “We’re going to use everybody. We’re going to use Cishek. We’ll use Qualls. We haven’t had that many save opportunities, and we need those guys to pitch. And we need Cishek to go down there and log some innings. He’s still going to close games. Qualls might close some games. [Mike] Dunn might close some games. We need these guys to pitch. We need them to stay sharp. They’re all going to contribute.”
Dunn wasn’t available on Monday because he has been used in setup situations of late, and on Sunday, he logged the save after Cishek was lifted with two outs in a 2-1 win over Arizona.
“We were trying to stay away from Dunn tonight,” Redmond said. “He pitched four out of five games, so we were trying to give him a break tonight.”
— Joe Frisaro