Who should close games for the Miami Marlins?
By Neil Raymond
The Miami Marlins lose a lot of one-run games lately. We even set a record with that. With all of that on our minds, it makes sense to take a look at our closing situation. Who should be the closer? Does this area of the team need to be improved?
The Miami Marlins have interesting closing options.
Anthony Bender has been the closer for the Miami Marlins so far this season. Bender has an underwhelming 5.40 ERA/6.28 FIP with a more promising 3.57 xFIP and a 99.2 mph fastball! It’s the latter that especially excites us. He was also phenomenal last season with a 2.79 ERA/3.19 FIP in 61.1 IP. He seems to be having some bad luck so patience could be recommended.
It can be easy to forget that Dylan Floro is still on the Miami Marlins IL. Floro was our closer last season and produced a 2.81 ERA/2.81 FIP in 64.0 IP. Considering how Bender is currently performing, it seems likely that Floro will simply take over upon his return. Assuming Bender’s bottom line results don’t improve, it could very well be the best solution.
Another option is former Baltimore closer Cole Sulser. He was lights out last season for the Birds with a 2.70 ERA/2.98 FIP in 63.1 IP. This season has been interesting to say the least, as while Sulser has an impressive 0.77 ERA, it comes with a 3.16 FIP and a 3.96 xFIP. Maybe that’s what manager Don Mattingly hasn’t committed to using Sulser in that role so far.
The final internal option for the Miami Marlins is Tanner Scott. Tanner has a 3.97 ERA/3.52 FIP but with an impressive 16.68 K/9! Tanner may not immediately stand out as a closing candidate, but he is Someone to look at for sure.
So who should close for the Miami Marlins? I think that it should be whoever pitches the best. I know I know, it’s a pretty boring answer, but let me break it down… Scott isn’t ready and Bender isn’t doing too good. Sulser has potential, but so does Floro (assuming he‘ll be fully recovered) and Bender with that fastball.
If I was Mattingly, I‘d stick with Bender until his first shaky outing (while preparing Floro in less intense situations). If Floro is lights out, then make him the closer again, if Sulser keeps this up and Bender and Floro struggle then make him the closer. It‘s best to let Bender, Floro and Sulser compete for the closer‘s job and let the best pitcher win.