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Marlins' bullpen loses consistent arm after another back

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Morris is set to undergo back surgery.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Things were supposed to be getting better for the Miami Marlins' bullpen.

Veteran lefty Mike Dunn was placed on the disabled list to open the season and remained there until Tuesday. It seemed all was well for the 15th-best bullpen in baseball, which has also collectively pitched to the sixth-best ERA in the National League.

But, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, the Marlins will be without another reliever for most of the season.

Bryan Morris is set to undergo back surgery at University of Miami hospital Wednesday to repair a herniated disc, Frisaro notes.

Morris went on the disabled list last Thursday with a lumbar disc herniation.

"Best-case scenario is I pitch in September, which, obviously, is the ultimate goal," Morris said. "But at the same time, we've got to make sure everything is 100 percent before we take that step."

Aside from Dunn's injury, the Marlins' bullpen appeared to be set to open the season. A.J. Ramos was set to close games, with Morris serving as the setup man. The Marlins also had several long relief options to choose from.

While the bullpen could still pitch well, Manager Don Mattingly will have to be creative late in games. Dunn could take Morris' role, but the bullpen is almost certainly stronger with both pitching in relief.

Over 17.2 innings this season before going down, Morris pitched to a 3.06 ERA and 6.45 FIP. He has pitched to a career 2.80 ERA and since being acquired from the Pirates has proven to be a valuable relief option.

Regardless of whether or not Morris is able to return in September, the Marlins' bullpen won't be complete. The club has reportedly been scouting Drew Storen and could be seeking other relief options in the coming weeks.