Kyle Barraclough didn’t make the cut out of spring training. But with the Marlins in need of a traditional late-inning setup reliever, they didn’t wait long to call up the hard-throwing right-hander from the minors.
In what was their first in-season roster move, the Marlins on Sunday promoted Barraclough from Triple A New Orleans and designated reliever Dustin McGowan for assignment.
“Kyle’s a guy who misses bats,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s got a wipeout slider. He’s got power stuff, what we’ve been missing a little bit from that standpoint.”
Mattingly wasted no time in putting Barraclough to use, bringing him in to pitch the seventh on Sunday. He struck out three while walking one.
Barraclough made a strong impression after arriving in the Marlins’ trade with St. Louis last July for Steve Cishek. But he struggled this spring and failed to make the Opening Day roster.
“He was a guy in spring training, before Carter [Capps] got hurt, was a true option in that bullpen,” Mattingly said. “It just seemed like he was all over the place this spring.”
In three outings with New Orleans, Barraclough recorded nine strikeouts in six innings while walking two.
“I’d like to stabilize the back end [of the bullpen],” Mattingly said.
Mattingly said that likely means David Phelps will be used primarily in one-inning stints late in games. Phelps pitched a scoreless eighth on Sunday.
Mattingly said he would like to have Phelps “available as many nights as possible” by “possibly using him later in the game, instead of a multi-inning guy in the sixth [inning] or something.”
OZUNA MOVED DOWN
So much for the idea of batting Marcell Ozuna in the No. 2 spot.
On Sunday, Mattingly dropped Ozuna to the sixth spot in the order while elevating Martin Prado to the No. 2 hole.
Ozuna hit just .200 in the second spot.
Mattingly said the decision had as much to do with moving Justin Bour to the No. 5 spot, behind Giancarlo Stanton, as it did with dropping Ozuna down in the order.
Prado had been hitting behind Stanton.
“I wanted to get J.B. in that five hole,” Mattingly said of Bour. “He’s swinging the bat good. I didn’t really want to move [Prado] back.”
▪ Mattingly said he can’t put his finger on one reason for the Marlins’ slow start, indicating that it’s been a combination of factors that resulted in the team’s 3-7 record out of the gate.
“The reason we haven’t won, our record isn’t better, is because we haven’t done enough to win, it’s as simple as that,” Mattingly said. “The one thing I want to make sure our club knows is we’ve played nine games [going into Sunday]. There’s  left. There’s a lot of baseball to be played. And I don’t want us to get caught in the trap of ‘same old thing.’ ”
Mattingly said he’s been surprised at the team’s poor defensive play so far.
“I think our defense has been a little shaky for me,” he said.
“It’s one of the things I thought would be really, really good, and I still think we will. We’ve made mistakes that give people extra bases. We give people extra outs. Sometimes those hurt you and sometimes they don’t.”
▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (0-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (1-1, 2.45), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (0-0, 3.86) vs. Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (2-0, 1.98), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.