The Miami Marlins have so many young arms throughout the minor league system, it will be nearly impossible to use each player in their rotation.
It’s a great problem to have as this organization continues to amaze many of us, including myself, with the way it has built its minor league teams from the ground up into a top 10 feeder system. That’s great planning and scouting on the part of Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, Michael Hill, the team’s president of baseball operations, Director of Player Development and Scouting Gary Denbo.
The surplus means there should be a shift in how these pitchers are tracked to the next level. It’s a topic Joe Frisaro touched on in his most recent “Inbox” feature on MLB.com. Starting pitching has been one of the best stories of this team this season, but a lack of bullpen efficiency has been a concern.
There isn’t a lot of middle relief depth, which could be addressed through the acquisition of these young players over the past year and a half. The question was asked, “With the Marlins having a solid base of starting pitching, what are the prospects for middle relievers?”
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Frisaro gave a strong answer that might tip the Marlins hand for the future?
"“I find this question interesting because you are correct about the depth of starters in the organization,” he writes. “Yet, from the pool of prospects they have from the big leagues down through the system, they have big league-caliber arms, but not all will profile as rotation pieces at the MLB level.”"
Excluding Jose Urena, who is dealing with a back issue that keeps on the shelf for a while, the Marlins rotation is now seven-deep if you count both Pablo Lopez and Caleb Smith, who are dealing with injuries and will return sometime soon. What happens to Elieser Hernandez, Jordan Yamamoto and Zach Gallen remain a mystery right now.
And remember, there are other pitchers waiting for their opportunity.
"“I could see Jorge Guzman, for instance, the hard-thrower at Double-A Jacksonville, eventually moving from the rotation to the bullpen,” Frisaro adds. “I’m going to throw another possibility at you. When Jose Urena, Miami’s Opening Day starter, comes off the 60-day injured list (herniated disk), I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves to the bullpen, perhaps even closing.”"
The possibility of Urena becoming a closer could also spell the end of Sergio Romo’s time in Miami. The veteran reliever has been a key part of the team’s relief efforts and could become an attractive bullpen addition to a contender this fall.
The Marlins have been pleased with the performance of Nick Anderson and the short time
Jose Quijada has been on the 25-man roster. Jarlin Garcia has shown some effectiveness as well. Romo is the bonafide closer. Where Adam Conley fits is still an unknown. Austin Brice has had his moments as well.