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Marlins position changes: Tom Koehler to the bullpen

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MLB.com's Joe Frisaro recently put together a list of five possible position changes to watch this offseason. Here we discuss the future of Tom Koehler as a starter.

Marc Serota

Tom Koehler will likely be on the Marlins' 2015 25-man roster. But his role may be a bit different depending on the organization's offseason plans.

Koehler was solid in 2014, but if Miami decides to add another starter, he may be asked to be become a reliever. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro noted Koehler pitching out of the bullpen could become reality if the Marlins are looking to sign a free agent starter, as they have been rumored to be interested in doing.

Heading into Spring Training, Koehler will be a frontrunner to secure a rotation spot. But he may not be a lock.

High on Miami's shopping list this offseason is landing another starting pitcher. If that happens, Koehler could moved to the bullpen. Also, when Jose Fernandez returns, perhaps around the 2015 All-Star break, some shuffling to the rotation will occur.

Miami was confident in its young pitching staff, and Koehler arguably had one of the better seasons among starters. Proving he can remain healthy, Koehler made each of his 32 scheduled starts and was 10-10 with a 3.81 ERA and 3.84 FIP in 199.1 inning pitched.

As he adjusted to major league lineups, Koehler at times had difficulty finding the strike zone, notably with his offspeed pitches. But last season, Koehler saw a significant increase in his K/9 (5.79 to 7.20) and saw his WAR go from 0.8 in 2013 to 1.8 in 2014.

The Marlins are not necessarily short on relievers, although they have not found a consistent long relief option. That could be Brad Hand's job to lose, considering the lefty is out of options and may receive many opportunities to make the Marlins' roster.

Miami is planning on not having a healthy Jose Fernandez rejoin the rotation until around the All-Star break, and even after acquiring Jarred Cosart last June is looking to add another veteran starter. The Marlins likely won't look for a top of the rotation arm, considering Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi have been respectable two and three options.

While they are considering all of their options, the Marlins will likely be in a position to give Andrew Heaney a chance to win a rotation spot too. If Koehler does not break Spring Training as a member of the rotation, it will either be because he is having notable command issues or was beaten out by a younger arm.

Trading Koehler, if the Marlins feel they have better options available, could be possible as well.

Koehler is a young and inexpensive arm, and the Marlins are satisfied with his progress. Whether in the bullpen or the rotation, he should have a roster spot next season.