Cranking these out in rapid succession at this point. Florida Marlins, now.
Leo Nunez – RH (Closer)
Matt Lindstrom – RH (Set-up)
Dan Meyer – LH (Set-up)
Kiko Calero – RH (Set-up)
Renyel Pinto – LH (Lefty specialist)
Brian Sanches – RH (Mid-relief)
Cristhian Martinez – RH (Long-relief)
Brendan Donnelly – RH (Mid-relief)
Manager: Fredi Gonzalez
Pitching Coach: Mark Wiley
Bullpen Coach: Steve Foster
After winning the closer job from Kevin Gregg last season, Matt Lindstrom has turned around and lost it again. Just another example of the instability of the bullpens of small market teams. After posting a 6.52 ERA in his first 29 innings and allowing batters to post an OPS of .847 against him, Lindstrom was placed on the DL and hasn’t re-assumed the closer role since Leo Nunez picked up the slack and hasn’t disappointed in that role. Since Lindstrom’s return from the DL he’s posted a 4.15 ERA in 5 appearances. Perhaps the injury or something mechanical was wrong with Lindstrom, because his future looked bright after the 2008 season.
As I mentioned, Leo Nunez has not disappointed in the closer role, successfully converting 11 of 12 save opportunities since Lindstrom was placed on the DL. The 4.12 ERA isn’t beautiful, but he’s not functionally miserable. Nunez has posted a 19-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 19 and 2/3 innings since assuming the closer role.
Dan Meyer was traded from Atlanta to Oakland in the Tim Hudson deal. He struggled to find himself in Oakland, posting a 7.98 ERA in 44 big league innings between 2007 and 2008. The A’s placed him on waivers and the Marlins claimed him this past off-season. He’s been a very pleasant surprise for the Marlins, posting a 2.47 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a 41-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 43 and 2/3 innings this season. My opinion: sooner or later, teams always realize that players are waiver claims for a reason. Though I’ve been wrong before.
Kiko Calero has been another pleasant surprise this season. He’s posted a 1.94 ERA and a 52-to-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 41 and 2/3 innings this season. Calero signed as a free agent with the Marlins this past off-season. Most people had never heard of him. Most people still haven’t heard of him. He’s 34 years old and has totaled 284 and 1/3 innings in 7 seasons for 3 teams. He has a career 3.32 ERA. He’s also a former Oakland A.
Renyel Pinto was traded to the Marlins in the Juan Pierre deal (the one that netted them Ricky Nolasco as well). He’s shaping up to be a quality major-league reliever. This season he’s been very good, posting a 2.47 ERA in 43 and 2/3 innings. He has walked 32 batters and struck out 42. Seems like he’s pitching a great deal over his head, but you can do that when you’re a specialist.
Sanches is a piece of organizational filler. He’s been a pleasant surprise for the Marlins this season, posting a 1.01 ERA and a 34-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34 and 2/3 innings. I don’t believe for one second that’s sustainable. He’s a serviceable low-leverage reliever, though.
Brendan Donnelly is 37 years old and was picked up by the Marlins when the Rangers released him late in the off-season. He’s posted a 1.65 ERA and a 14-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 16 and 1/3 innings this season. Despite his impressive numbers, he’s nothing more than organizational filler pitching meaningless innings.
Cristhian Martinez is a 27-year-old who has posted unimpressive numbers in his short stint with the big club. He’s posted a 7-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 7 and 2/3 innings, but he’s given up 12 hits and has an 8.22 ERA. As a result, he was optioned to the minors but was recalled again on Friday. He’s yet to pitch since his re-promotion.
It’s difficult to put a finger on exactly what Fredi Gonzalez and Mark Wiley like to do in games other than the classic save situation due to instability. In save situations, they go with some combination of Meyer, Lindstrom, Calero, and Pinto to pitch innings 7 and 8 and let Nunez close it out. Sanches, Martinez, and Donnelly are used in mop-up situations or when they have to use them.
Burke Badenhop – 15 day DL. Strained trapezius muscle. ETA unknown.
Scott Proctor – 60 day DL. Elbow surgery. ETA 2010.
Anibal Sanchez – 60 day DL. Right shoulder sprain. ETA ~ late August, 2009.
Luis Ayala – AAA.