The title tells it all, even if there isn’t much in the way of analysis. The Marlins bullpen so far has been atrocious, with only Burke Badenhop sparing us from a completely messed up group of guys. When you look at the set of players we’re using, a few things come to mind in light of their opening struggles:
– First off, what did you expect? The Marlins pen as a collective unit is not as bad as it has played, but after getting a little lucky last year, consider getting really unlucky (along with bad) cosmic karma. The team’s pen is filled with no-names, and you have to figure those no-names are eventually going to flop.
– Secondly, it was still the right move to go cheap. There were a lot of closer types in the free agent market this season, and none of them were worth the money they were going to receive. The Marlins were anywhere between 78-83 projected wins, not the area of the curve where you would want the team to pay for a prime reliever. Maybe the good reliever like Rafael Soriano gets you to 85 wins, but where does that leave you?
– Third, no matter what I say about it being the right move, it’s still frustrating. Leads are so precious, and the Marlins aren’t making it easy on themselves with a pen that is so willing to lose them. As fans, I feel the primary reason why we’re so concerned with closers is that losing ninth inning leads is such a psychologically frustrating event that it heavily impacts our decision-making.
Nevertheless, have faith, Marlins fans. The news came out that Jose Veras was designated for assignment (H/T GameFish), bringing up Chris Leroux, whom John discussed yesterday. The rest of the pen should improve; the club has stranded only 64.4% of their runners so far this year, and that should hopefully see some regression. If the team can drop some of those walks, we should be just fine. Based on the personnel available, I’m not sure those walks can drop:
Player: ZiPS In-Season BB/9
Leo Nunez: 3.48
Dan Meyer: 4.57
Renyel Pinto: 5.75
Those are the worst offenders, I suppose, but any one of the current pen members is also liable to throw a wild inning now and again. Despite our team’s luck in the past with the pen, we may be in for some rough late innings in the coming months.