In between their Tuesday victory and Wednesday loss against the Atlanta Braves, the Miami Marlins have called up fireball reliever Carter Capps from Triple-A New Orleans in an effort to fix their bullpen woes.
They have arguably the best closer in the game in Steve Cishek, but unless their starters go eight innings, getting the ball to him becomes as difficult as pulling teeth. Of the 73 earned runs that the Marlins pitching staff has allowed (eighth highest in the National League) so far this season, 18 of them have come in the 8th inning.
That’s usually Mike Dunn’s inning, who currently has an 8.31 ERA this season, including most recently giving up the go-ahead 2-run RBI double to Evan Gattis. He’s struck out 11 batters in 8.1 innings, but that becomes the risk with constantly staying in the strike zone.
They gave Arquimedes Caminero a chance after a strong spring, but he has given up seven earned runs in 4.2 innings and is responsible for the Marlins extra innings loss to the Braves on Monday.
In nine innings, Carlos Marmol has a 4.00 ERA, but all four of those runs came from grand slam by Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals two weeks ago. Right now he is day to day with a hamstring injury.
This is where Capps comes in. The Marlins acquired the 6-4, 230 pound righty in an offseason trade that sent fan favorite but fragile and inadequate first baseman Logan Morrison to the Seattle Mariners.
Capps has struck out 17 hitters in 11 innings while giving up only two earned runs. Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Capps has “a big arm” and it was the “perfect time” to promote him.
The main purpose of having Capps in the Marlins bullpen is unknown at the moment as he has yet to make his season debut. What it should be is to replace Mike Dunn as the setup man or to have him take the seventh inning and give the eighth inning to A.J. Ramos, who is their best reliever before Cishek.
The Marlins will send Henderson Alvarez, Kevin Slowly and Tom Koehler to the hill when facing the New York Mets this weekend. Being a long reliever, Slowly's start will call on an "all hands on deck" approach with the bullpen, which is a good chance to see what Capps can do.