Marlins searching for reliever options
Where they stand right now, the Marlins are not buyers or sellers. They’re pretty much staying the course with the pieces they already have, but the organization is searching for reasonably-priced bullpen options.
Primarily, Miami is monitoring relievers who might be ready for a change of scenery. They organization is discussing internally if David Carpenter, recently designated for assignment by the Yankees, would be an upgrade over what they already have.
Carpenter’s fastball velocity, according to fangraphs.com, is 94.9 mph. So he is throwing hard, and his stuff hasn’t been that bad. So the right-hander could make sense in Miami.
Internally, there just isn’t much there in the minors. Steve Cishek, recently optioned to Double-A Jacksonville, is tinkering with his mechanics as the club hopes he can make a speedy return back to the big leagues. However, it appears it is going to take more than a couple of innings with the Suns before the club believes he is ready to help out in the late innings.
The timing of sending Cishek down was curious. The move was made when the right-hander’s velocity was up to 92-93 mph, after he was in the 89-91 mph range in mid-May, when he blew saves in successive games at San Francisco and the Dodgers.
After those two rough road outings in May, the club considered optioning Cishek, but didn’t because they were hoping the veteran could fix things pitching in earlier innings.
Regardless of why now over then, the main thing is getting Cishek right, because he may be needed over the course of 162 games.
Other than Cishek, pretty much all the other internal options are already here.
Carter Capps has become a huge weapon, blazing fastballs that have reached as high as 100 mph. Fangraphs.com has his fastball velo average at 97.5 mph. His slider has become a sharp, making him extremely tough to hit. But how will Capps hold up? He’s thrown 11 innings at the big league level after starting the season at Triple-A New Orleans. He’s fanned 19 and walked two.
We’re seeing what happens when Capps throws strikes. His stuff is pure nasty.
But the club has to be careful with how much he is used. Last year he dealt with an arm injury and he threw 20 1/3 innings with Miami, and another 14 1/3 innings in the Minor Leagues.
Sam Dyson already is being heavily used, throwing 27 2/3 innings in 26 games.
Clearly, the Marlins are trying to load up on power arms for their late innings. Capps, Dyson and Bryan Morris all regularly top 95 mph. Lefty Mike Dunn also reaches 95. So even if Cishek returns in a few weeks, his role likely would be in setup situations.
As noted in previous blogs, the team may find some bullpen answers from their own starting pitching depth.
Once Jarred Cosart and Mat Latos come off the disabled list — which could be next week — then Tom Koehler and/or David Phelps may become bullpen pieces.
Cosart is throwing in a rehab assignment game on Saturday. It’s expected at to be with Class A Jupiter in Port Charlotte. The plan is for Jose Fernandez to pitch the first two innings, or around 40 pitches, and have Cosart follow.
If Cosart’s outing is smooth, he could be back in the big league rotation late next week when Miami returns home.
— Joe Frisaro