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Miami Marlins weaken bullpen by adding David Phelps to starting rotation

Miami’s bullpen is losing a top arm.

St Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The inconsistency of the back-end of Miami’s bullpen was clear in Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to the Cubs.

Fernando Rodney, acquired in June to bolster the Marlins’ bullpen, has been unable to do so consistently. Since joining the Marlins, Rodney has posted an ERA well over four. On Wednesday, he allowed a run in the eighth inning. It could have been worse, though.

A.J. Ramos has been comparably dominant as the Marlins’ closer, blowing only one save entering Wednesday’s contest. He blew a two-run lead and his second save of the season.

Miami’s bullpen has pitched to 3.64 ERA, which ranks seventh in the National League and eighth in baseball.

After sending Colin Rea back to San Diego following a short outing with the Marlins, the club is short a starter. As a result, David Phelps is expected to start Friday, which weakens the back-end of Miami’s bullpen.

Manager Don Mattingly has managed his bullpen effectively, with Kyle Barraclough and Phelps splitting time in the seventh inning. It’s worked well for the Marlins, but now Mattingly will likely be forced to turn to Barraclough exclusively.

Phelps has pitched well over 54.1 innings this season, posting a 2.65 ERA and 2.82 FIP. He has starting experience, but his career numbers are better pitching in relief.

The Marlins’ rotation might benefit from having Phelps pitch in the fifth spot in the rotation, but Miami’s bullpen is now without a top arm, which could be problematic moving forward.