Miami Marlins

Henry Rodriguez, Carter Capps among candidates for open Miami Marlins bullpen spots

 
 
Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, right, high-fives third base coach Brett Butler after hitting a home run in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, March 9, 2014, in Jupiter, Fla.
Miami Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, right, high-fives third base coach Brett Butler after hitting a home run in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, March 9, 2014, in Jupiter, Fla.
David Goldman / AP

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

Carlos Marmol survived a shaky outing in his debut for the Marlins, one in which he walked a pair of batters before working out of a bases-loaded jam with a swinging strikeout on a 94-mph pitch in the sixth inning of Sunday’s 3-1 loss to Detroit.

In other words, Marmol looked very much like the erratic pitcher who tortured Cubs fans for years with his lack of control and eventually led to his trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers midway through the 2013 season.

But Marmol is not high on the list of concerns for the Marlins when it comes to their piecing together a seven-member bullpen — at least not at the moment. The Marlins have as many as three relief positions to fill before Opening Day, and Marmol is all but assured a spot after inking a $1.25 million deal over the winter.

“We have a bunch of guys fighting for those [open] spots,” manager Mike Redmond said. “For me, every outing is big for guys. So if guys are holding back for something, it’s probably not the time to hold back.”

Steve Cishek, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos and Marmol (barring a complete meltdown over the coming three weeks) are all but locks to land bullpen jobs. After that, the picture gets murkier.

The Marlins will likely give one of the jobs to a long man, another to a lefty and yet another to a hard-throwing right-hander.

Based on two strong outings so far this spring in which he has held the Mets scoreless over 4 2/3 combined innings, veteran Kevin Slowey appears to have the edge on the long relief role.

After that, Redmond said he is hoping to find a pair of relievers who can make up for the loss of effective innings turned in last season by departed relievers Chad Qualls and Ryan Webb.

He was impressed with Henry Rodriguez’s debut Saturday in Orlando in which the high-velocity right-hander struck out three batters in one inning of work against the Braves.

“We all know he’s got a great arm,” Redmond said. “The biggest thing has been his control — throwing strikes and being effective. From what I saw [Saturday], I know it was only one inning, but it was pretty impressive.”

Carter Capps is also in the picture. But Redmond was less effusive in his praise for Capps, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Seattle for Logan Morrison.

“He’s doing OK,” Redmond said. “He’s only been pitching for a few years. We just need to keep getting him out there and get him comfortable on the mound.”

The Marlins also remain high on Arquimedes Caminero.

As for the lefties, Dan Jennings heads a list that also includes Josh Spence, Edgar Olmos and — should he not win a spot in the starting rotation — Brad Hand. The Marlins are also looking around at lefties belonging to other teams.

This much is certain: Redmond is looking for results in order to make a final decision.

“There’s just not enough innings out there for guys to kind of ease into it,” Redmond said. “I’ve never been a guy who could just ease into it. I want to see what you’ve got. These guys have got to earn it.”

• WEEI.com in Boston, citing unnamed sources, said the Boston Red Sox have been fined by Major League Baseball for not fielding a representative lineup in its game Thursday against the Marlins.

• Instead of traveling to Fort Myers on Tuesday to face the Red Sox in his next scheduled start, Nathan Eovaldi instead will remain in Jupiter and throw a 60-pitch simulation game. Jose Fernandez is pitching a simulation game Monday rather than face the New York Mets for the second time in a week.

• Hand will start Saturday’s game for the Marlins when they face the New York Yankees in Panama, and Eovaldi will start Sunday’s game there.

• Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavarria, Garrett Jones and Steve Cishek are among the notable players the Marlins are taking to Panama for the two-game series with the Yankees.

• Tom Koehler continued to make a strong case for the fifth spot in the rotation, by turning in four strong innings in his start Sunday for the Marlins and retiring 12 of the 13 batters he faced. The only hitter to reach base against Koehler was Miguel Cabrera with a two-out single in the first inning.

“He looks like a different guy from last year to this year,” Redmond said. “He’s gone out there and pitched the way he needs to pitch.”

• Stanton belted his first home run of the spring, and it was a long blast, striking the second-floor balcony outside the Marlins’ offices in left center. Stanton said he is happy to be hitting line drives this spring. On Sunday’s home run, he said: “It’s just a higher line drive.”

Coming up

•  Monday: Marlins LHP Brad Hand at New York Mets RHP Bartolo Colon, 1:10 p.m., Port St. Lucie.

•  Tuesday: Marlins LHP Brian Flynn at Boston Red Sox RHP John Lackey, 1:05 p.m., Fort Myers.

Read more Miami Marlins stories from the Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category