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Spooney suffers another setback

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Marlins bring up Crowell from Triple-A Albuquerque

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com


PHILADELPHIA -- With closer Guillermo Mota sidelined with inflammation in his right elbow, the Marlins addressed their bullpen needs by selecting the contract of left-hander Jim Crowell from Triple-A Albuquerque.


To make room for Crowell, the Marlins optioned long reliever Travis Smith to Albuquerque and transferred reliever Tim Spooneybarger to the 60-day disabled list from the 15-day DL.


Spooneybarger, recovering from his September 2003 Tommy John surgery, was initially placed on the disabled list on April 2. The right-hander recently experienced discomfort in his elbow and had an MRI that didn't show any serious damage. But the setback means that he won't be ready any time soon.


On Saturday morning, Mota returned to Miami, and he was examined by team physician Dan Kanell in the afternoon. With the right-hander headed for the disabled list, it is likely that Smith will be recalled from Albuquerque to take his place.


"We've got enough guys to close," said manager Jack McKeon. "On the closership, to me it's overrated. ... We're OK."


Veteran Todd Jones, who turned 37 on April 24, is the most logical choice to assume a true closer role should Mota be out for an extended period.


Jones picked up his first save of the season on Friday night, working out of some tough jams in 1 2/3 innings to preserve a 6-4 win over the Phillies.


Jim Mecir and lefty Matt Perisho also will factor into the closer mix.


Crowell has Major League experience, appearing in four games and working three innings for the Phillies last season. In 1997, the left-hander was 0-1 with a 9.95 ERA in two games (one start) for the Reds.


He participated in Spring Training with the Marlins, and impressed McKeon because he threw strikes.


For the Isotopes thus far, Crowell is 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA in 11 games, with five saves. He and Bart Miadich, who also participated in Spring Training with the Marlins, shared the closer role for Albuquerque.


For the Marlins, Crowell provides a second left-handed reliever.


"It's always an exciting time to come back up to the big leagues," said Crowell, who turns 31 in May. "You want to throw strikes and help the team however you can."


The way the back end of the 'pen shapes up right now, Crowell could face left-handed hitters earlier in games, with Perisho available in the later innings.

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