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Bullpen Overview

Uncle Leo

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Nice bullpen summary from rotoworld. We have a pretty solid and deep bullpen with some good options for replacing Cishek. After reading this I felt even more comfortable with the idea of trading Haren (probably one or two random reliever arms aka lotto tickets) and Cishek (darn good prospect) and turning the saved money into Shields.


Haren 10M + Cishek (6.65M and rising) or Shields (15-20) and some prospects (a pretty good one for Cishek to boot) - I'd take the latter


Miami Marlins


Steve Cishek


Mike Dunn


A.J. Ramos


Carter Capps


Bryan Morris


Sam Dyson


Aaron Crow


The Marlins feature a deep bullpen that extends down into the minors. Cishek is becoming expensive after agreeing to a $6.65 million contract for the 2015 season. There is a good chance the Fish will trade Cishek if internal alternatives emerge. Cishek blew a few noisy saves late last season, but his peripherals were career bests. In particular, his 11.57 K/9 easily topped his career rate of 9.92 K/9. For years, he's been a sneaky-good fantasy closer. He's reached the point where nobody is sleeping on him.


Dunn is the resident late-inning lefty specialist. He's solid enough against righties to pitch full innings. He occasionally gets in trouble with walks (career 4.66 BB/9). He should notch 20 to 25 holds with a healthy season. Even if the bullpen collapses, he won't earn many save opportunities.


Ramos is coming off a strong season with a 2.11 ERA, 10.27 K/9, and 6.05 BB/9. That's the worst walk rate he's posted at any level, so there's cause to expect a better performance. He's one of those semi-rare relievers who leans on a changeup. He could snag some saves, but he wouldn't be my first pick to fill in for Cishek.


Instead, I like Capps as the backup closer. A 97 mph fastball, 11.07 K/9, and 2.21 BB/9 speak to his potential as a high leverage reliever. He's a fastball-slider guy with big whiff rates on both pitches. Some sources call the breaking ball a curve. Batters whiffed 27 percent of the time against the pitch. If we just look at whiff rate by swing, batters fanned 63 percent of the time. That's well beyond elite, so expect some regression. He's one of my top relief sleepers this season.


Another backup closer option is Bryan Morris. The ground ball specialist is a poor man's Zach Britton. He's a four pitch reliever with a 96 mph fastball-sinker combo complemented by a decent slider and curve. His grounder rate hovers just below 60 percent, which allows him to outpitch his peripherals. Despite an elite 14 percent whiff rate, he won't help you with strikeouts (6.99 K/9). A breakout is definitely possible.


If the Marlins need more grounders after Morris, they can turn to Dyson. The righty has burned worms 65 percent of the time in 53.2 major league innings. Like Morris, he's uses four pitches headlined by a 96 mph fastball-sinker pairing. He'll also toss a slider and changeup, but those are uncommon.


The long relief role appears tabbed for Aaron Crow. The former top prospect has disappointed. Last season, he struggled to a 4.12 ERA while his velocity dropped to 92 mph. A 5.19 K/9 and 3.66 BB/9 support the weak ERA. The 28-year-old still has name value, which is why I think he'll break camp with the club.


To be sure, the Marlins have other options. The rotation is jammed packed with Jarred Cosart, Tom Koehler, David Phelps, Andre Rienzo, and Brad Hand battling for two or three spots (depending on Dan Haren). One of the losers of that battle could land in the swingman role over Crow. On another club, Arquimedes Caminero would have a shot at a middle relief role.



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