The Miami Marlins bullpen may have a secret weapon

Anthony Bender is coming back to The Fish's late innings.

Anthony Bender
Anthony Bender / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages
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Is there a better closer than Miami Marlins 9'th inning lockdown specialist Tanner Scott? As The Fish are trying to take it to the next level, there's some exciting news regarding Anthony Bender. The Tommy John Surgery patient is finally coming back this season. He already came back in Spring Training in fact.

Former closer Anthony Bender is coming back to the Miami Marlins this season.

Anthony Bender had a nice run with the Miami Marlins prior to requiring Tommy John Surgery. He debuted in 2021 with a 2.79 ERA/3.19 FIP, with 10.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9, in 60 games and 61.1 innings pitched. In 2022, he followed that up with a 3.26 ERA/4.77 FIP, with 7.9 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 22 games and 19.1 innings pitched. He also accumulated 3 saves in 2021 and 6 saves in 2022. These are pretty good numbers, outside of the FIP in 2022.

The 29 year old was excited to return to the mound and exhibited a 96.9 mph sinker. He also has a slider that he uses as his out pitch and so throws less frequently. Interestingly, the reliever almost returned to the team in last season's playoffs. He would've pitched for the team against the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2023 National League Wild Card playoffs. Sadly, he wasn't able to do that.

Catcher Christian Bethancourt, who was acquired earlier during the off-season, had this to say:

"You can't have any pitches better than what he has. He showed it today. I think he was just missing a little bit arm side, and I think that's just natural for a guy that throws that angle. Pitches were moving, pitches were really hard, and that's what you want to see from him."

I see a lot of potential with Anthony Bender in 2024. I don't expect him to take over the closer's role, unless things go horribly wrong and Tanner Scott gets traded at the Trade Deadline. I fully expect Bender to help The Fish in the late innings. and to end up becoming a major part of the team's pitching staff.

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