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Bullpen depth now a concern for the Miami Marlins

Since trading away Steve Cishek and Sam Dyson, Mike Dunn and A.J. Ramos have struggled and Carter Capps has hit the disabled list.

Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Even though the Marlins traded away former closer Steve Cishek to clear salary from the books, they wouldn't have let him go if they didn't think they had enough bullpen depth to try and contend next season. The same could be said for Sam Dyson, who was having a better season in Miami than Cishek and was much more affordable.

The Marlins received three prospects in return for the two separate trades, which will help to replenish the talent pool in the minor leagues which was depleted over the course of the winter. However, since the two trades occurred, the bullpen "depth" has been faltering.

In last night's 5-1 loss to the New York Mets, Mike Dunn gave up four runs in the eighth inning to watch his ERA balloon to 7.20 over his last seven games and 4.89 on the season. Over the past five years with the Marlins, Dunn has failed to escape unscathed more often than not in 2015. He is possibly an August trade candidate and the Marlins may want to consider a move.

After an extremely effective start to his closing career, A.J. has also struggled recently with a 11.37 ERA over his last seven games despite the three saves. This is directly related to his loss of command on the mound, as Ramos has walked seven batters over that time frame. This will certainly concern the organization as they just traded away their former closer and there is no obvious second option, apart from Carter Capps.

Capps, though, is on the DL with a right elbow strain. This is worrying considering he was on the 60-day DL last season with a similar injury. Capps has been somewhat of a revelation for the Marlins this year and he has been their best reliever by far. His 0.81 WHIP and 16.8 K/9 leads the team (and all of MLB for players who have pitched more than ten innings) and his 1.16 ERA is the lowest for a Marlin who has pitched more than ten innings. Having Carter Capps healthy for 2016 is central to Miami's postseason hopes.

Considering that the Marlins are so far back in the standings, the lack of bullpen depth may not matter in terms of results. On the other hand, now is the time for the organization to assess what it has to work with next season, and there are red flags appearing that must be addressed this winter.