Miami did not make many additions to its bullpen this offseason, however such moves may not prove to be necessary. The Marlins' bullpen ranked sixth (in terms of WAR) in all of baseball last season, and the unit is expected to thrive again in 2015, resulting in Sports on Earth noting the Marlins should have the eighth best bullpen in all of baseball next season.
In terms of WAR, Miami's relief staff ranked sixth in all of baseball last season, which is one reason why this club was more competitive than many had imagined going into the year.
Although many did not feel the Marlins would be competitive heading into last season, the club's bullpen was one of the several reasons the team improved by 15 wins in 2014. The Marlins have not made a ton of moves to improve the bullpen, but the returning cast may be enough to keep the Marlins competitive late in the season.
Steve Cishek may be one of the more under-appreciated and unnoticed closers in all of baseball, although his success over the last few seasons has helped the Marlins significantly. In 2012, Miami felt Heath Bell would be a valuable closing option. However, after Bell struggled and was ultimately traded to Arizona, Cishek received an opportunity and has taken advantage. He has posted a 2.35 FIP, 1.14 WHIP, and 73 saves over the last two seasons, and has also been able to successfully throw his secondary pitches for strikes against left-handed hitters. Cishek has been durable, and should be a valuable asset once again next season.
Seeking depth, the Marlins added Bryan Morris halfway through last season, and he has emerged as the favorite to serve as a setup man. He posted a 0.66 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched, and can also close a game occasionally should Cishek be overworked or struggle late in a game.
Miami could look to add another left-handed reliever before the end of spring training, though Mike Dunn has been solid against lefties and struck out 67 batters in 57 innings a season ago. A.J. Ramos could also serve as a setup man, and Aaron Crow could have the opportunity to win a bullpen spot with hopes of bouncing back in the National League after being acquired from Kansas City. David Phelps or Brad Hand will likely serve as the long relief option, and the Marlins have reportedly considered adding Francisco Rodriguez or Rafael Soriano, which would add more depth and experience.
The Marlins had a notably strong bullpen in 2014, and the 'pen should only get better in 2015. The starters have to pitch deep into games, but if it is not overused, the bullpen should emerge as one of the best in baseball.