Miami has only played seven games, but to this point its bullpen has been tested.
Starters have not had much success through the first few series, and as a result, the bullpen has been taxed. The Marlins are "monitoring relievers who could be available via a trade," according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
Jackson was told several clubs are already interested in upgrading their bullpens, making the price of effective relievers high.
In order for the Marlins to have success this season, and generally in the future, the starters must pitch deeper into games. But with Jose Fernandez on a strict innings limit, things don't get any easier for the Marlins. And Wei-Yin Chen didn't have much success in his first start as a Marlin.
Although ideally the starters would pitch deeper into games, the Marlins' bullpen was constructed to fit the situation they are currently in.
Edwin Jackson, Chris Narveson and Dustin McGowan are among the Marlins relievers who are capable of tossing multiple innings if necessary. If the starters aren't able to pitch into the sixth or seventh inning, the Marlins have several arms to turn to.
However, those arms have arguably been overused.
Craig Breslow has already tossed over four innings. McGowan has done the same.
Bryan Morris has recorded 4.2 innings. Narveson is at 3.1.
The Marlins have only played a week's worth of games to this point.
While the Marlins can turn to the trade market, it might be too soon to do so. Once the rotation becomes consistent and each of the relievers has an understanding of their roles, the Marlins have several power arms in Triple-A they can turn to.
Kyle Barraclough, acquired in the Steve Cishek trade with St. Louis in July, has pitched to a 1.50 ERA over six minor league innings and could be called upon relatively quickly. Jose Urena and Nefi Ogando could also be promoted and are both power pitchers.
Carter Capps and Mike Dunn are on the disabled list, and the Marlins appear to be searching for answers in their absences. Using David Phelps as a setup man might be one solution.
It is likely too soon to consider a trade. But if a potential deal makes sense for the Marlins, that might not be the case.