The Miami Marlins relievers could make up the most interesting story of Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida.
The Miami Marlins have done a good job replacing the old with the new and hopefully, that leads to one of the better bullpens in the Majors.
“Of all 30 MLB bullpens, only one had a negative Fangraphs Wins Above Replacement in 2019: the Marlins at minus-2.2,” writes Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
“Their ERA was 4.97, which ranked sixth-highest. Fully aware of the numbers, the Marlins’ front office spent the offseason revamping the ‘pen.”
It wasn’t even a question of whether this would happen as move-by-move, you saw the crumbling of what was part of the pitching staff and who was coming in to replace players. It started with Yimi Garcia in Free Agency and Sterling Sharp in the Rule 5 Draft. Miami also released veterans Jarlin Garcia and Jose Quijada, two lefties who logging plenty of innings last season.
It’s also possible the Marlins aren’t done tweaking this staff.
Brandon Kintzler was brought in to become the team’s closer. Stephen Tarpley was snagged from the Yankees and holdover Drew Steckenrider will be given a chance to re-establish himself as a force somewhere in the pecking order. He appeared in just 15 games last season due to elbow issues.
The Miami Marlins need him to become the set-up pitcher they think he can be. Jose Urena is here as well – for now, and the coaching staff must determine if Adam Conley can recover from a disastrous 2019 campaign.
DiComo agrees this could be a very interesting Spring in South Florida.
“Bullpen competition promises to be one of Miami’s primary focuses in Spring Training,” he writes.
Unlike the rotation that is still an effort of young arms that are still developing, the Marlins took the veteran route this offseason, depending on more stability and players who could fill multiple roles out of the bullpen.
Ryan Stanek is still on board after he was once thought to be a potential contender to become the team’s closer. And after the team decides which player wins the fifth starter spot, there figures to be more competition for a spot or two in relief.