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Why did the Marlins option Hunter Cervenka?

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It might not have been a result of his performance.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Miami made a pair of roster moves in advance of Tuesday night’s game against the Giants, one of which involved newly acquired left-handed reliever Hunter Cervenka.

Cervenka was optioned to Triple-A, and A.J. Ramos was placed on the 15-day disabled list. In the corresponding roster moves, Austin Brice and Chris Narveson were recalled and selected, respectively.

The Marlins added Cervenka on Saturday, and it appeared the club did so with the intention of him serving as another left-handed relief option alongside Mike Dunn. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning in his Marlins debut Sunday but struggled in Miami’s extra inning loss the Giants on Monday.

While Cervenka didn’t have much success against San Francisco, it’s unlikely he was optioned because of his performance in one outing. The Marlins were forced to use every available bullpen arm against the Giants, and as a result were seeking fresh relief options.

Cervenka is a controllable piece, which is almost certainly why the Marlins pursued him after the non-waiver trade deadline. He is having a solid season, pitching to a 3.18 ERA and 3.96 FIP over 34.0 innings before being sent to Miami.

Although lefties are batting .164 against Cervenka this season, he is averaging more than six walks per nine innings. That alone might have been enough for the Marlins to decide to give Cervenka time to work on his command in Triple-A New Orleans.

Miami’s bullpen has been inconsistent of late, largely because starters have been unable to pitch deep into games. However, the unit has pitched to a 3.82 ERA, which ranks eighth in the National League.

It’s unlikely Cervenka remains in Triple-A for long, since the Marlins’ bullpen doesn’t have many relievers who have dominant numbers against lefties.

Cervenka likely wasn’t optioned because of performance, though. Miami needed arms to turn to.