Steve Cishek was dealt to St. Louis and as a result the Marlins are in need of a new setup man. Although Brad Hand has limited experience pitching out of the bullpen, Hand is expected to become the Marlins' new late inning relief option, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
Hand, 25, has seen time in a variety of different roles in his time with the Marlins. He made his major league debut as a starting pitcher but has also seen time as the Marlins' long reliever. He has not been used as a left-handed specialist late in games, however that might change moving forward.
Over 43.2 innings with Miami this season, Hand has posted a 5.36 ERA and 2.44 FIP. He tossed 111.0 innings with the Marlins last season and posted a 4.38 ERA over that span. Hand made 16 starts with the Marlins in 2014, however aside from being available to make a spot start, Miami has almost exclusively used Hand has a relief option in 2015.
The Marlins have Mike Dunn as a power lefty pitching out of the bullpen and having Hand pitch late in games should prove to be beneficial moving forward. Dunn has also had a notable amount of success against right-handed batters in his career and the Marlins could use Hand as a match-up reliever against one or two left-handed bats in a lineup. A.J. Ramos has had success as Miami's closer and Carter Capps has pitched well of late. As a result, a bullpen that struggled early in the year has proven to be consistent over the last few weeks.
Hand is out of options and made the club's roster out of spring training. His name has been briefly mentioned in trade rumors, and while Frisaro adds the Blue Jays were once linked to Hand, it is likely Hand remains with the Marlins through the end of the season.
Once Cishek was traded, the Marlins recalled Andre Rienzo in the corresponding roster move. Rienzo will now be Miami's long reliever, with Hand being used as a setup man. Hand has responded to being used in different ways and he will now have an opportunity to prove he can keep contests close before Ramos enters games.