Will the Miami Marlins put their faith in Alex Vesia as the team’s closer of the future? This move could erase years of struggles out of the bullpen.
The one thing everyone can universally agree on with the Miami Marlins is finding a consistent closer in the team’s bullpen has been more famine than feast. As the team approaches 2020, there should be plenty of competition in terms of relievers, but there is one closer slated to hold down the job.
And then there is another one who might become the team’s closer of the future.
The Marlins signed Brandon Kintzler to a one-year, $3.25M deal this offseason. All indications are he will open the season in that role, but as we have seen before, nothing is guaranteed with these Marlins. Alex Vesia may be the player waiting his turn to grab the spot and hold onto it for a while.
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"“The most career saves by a left-handed Marlins reliever is five by Adam Conley, who has never officially been a closer. Over time, Vesia might change that, potentially becoming the first primary lefty closer in franchise history,” Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote."
The Marlins addressed the bullpen this offseason as its second most important part of free agency, adding veterans to strengthen one of the weakest components of the roster from 2019.
Actually, it has been longer than just one season. If Vesia can solve the problem he might become one of the more popular players to don a Miami Marlins uniform in some time.
"“A 17th-round Draft pick from Cal State East Bay in 2018, Vesia has put himself in position to be part of the Marlins’ bullpen in ’20, whenever the season starts,” Frisaro added. “Spanning four Minor League levels, Vesia has an active string of 41 1/3 straight innings without allowing a run, dating to last July 13 at Class A Advanced Jupiter.”"
The Marlins have done well to stock their minor league system with pitching prospects who have worked in starting roles but will have to eventually move from the rotation to the bullpen if they want a shot at playing in the Big Leagues. Vesia is already a lock to start his Major League career coming into a game in relief.
You could see a bullpen featuring Vesia and flamethrower Jorge Guzman in the not too distant future.
"“Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins’ No. 27 prospect, Vesia kept his scoreless streak going in big league Spring Training, logging six shutout frames in Grapefruit League games,” Frisaro wrote.That’s in addition to nine straight scoreless innings at Jupiter, 16 1/3 at Double-A Jacksonville and 10 1/3 in the Arizona Fall League. If he keeps putting up zeroes, Vesia, 23, could find himself working the ninth.”"