When the Marlins acquired Hunter Cervenka last season, it seemed to be a deal to boost the club’s bullpen. Mike Dunn was the team’s lone left-handed relief option, and he isn’t known for his success against left-handed hitters.
Dunn, who became a free agent at the end of the season, signed an extensive with the Rockies earlier this winter. Now, Cervenka is the lone left-handed option for the Marlins to turn to.
Miami was determined to build a “super bullpen” of sort this offseason and has had success doing so. Over a span of two days, the club added Janichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler, each on two-year deals. However, those signings might mean the Marlins don’t have room on the roster for a left-handed reliever.
The Marlins aren’t concerned about the possible lack of a lefty because of the number of pitchers on their roster who have proven to be able to get left-handed hitters out routinely. Lefties hit .205 against Tazawa, .205 against A.J. Ramos, .189 against Kyle Barraclough and .230 against David Phelps last season. Still, a lefty in the bullpen might prove to be beneficial.
Cervenka struggled after joining the Marlins last season, posting a 4.82 ERA and 4.65 FIP over 9.1 innings before being sent to Triple-A. However, he did post a 3.18 ERA over 32.0 innings with the Braves before the trade.
Cervenka is a fairly controllable piece who isn’t eligible for free agency until 2022, so the Marlins probably won’t be in a hurry to add him to the roster. Even with a solid spring, it’s unlikely Cervenka earns a roster spot immediately.