There is a strong possibility that two spring candidates for the Marlins rotation might start the season in the bullpen, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. That's if the Marlins decide to have eight relievers and 13 pitchers. Dan Straily, Jeff Locke, and Jose Ureña are in the running for the fifth spot in the rotation.
However, it appears that all three pitchers will likely make the Opening Day roster. Straily, who was acquired from the Reds, is the favorite to make the rotation. Locke was the favorite when he signed with the Marlins in December. He could still win the job, but it's more likely he pitches in the bullpen in long relief situations.
"It may not be your traditional look," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said, "that your starter goes seven innings, he hands it to a setup man in the eighth and the closer comes in the ninth. There may be situations where the starter is out in the fourth or the fifth, and a bridge guy takes you to the sixth, and then you've got a setup man in the seventh and the eighth, and a closer in the ninth."
Miami wants to give Ureña every chance to make the roster. Ureña is out of options, so he can't be sent to Triple-A if he doesn't make the roster. If he fails to make the roster, he would be designated for assignment, and the chances would be slim that he would return to the Marlins.
They could trade him, but they haven't made many attempts because they feel that he has too much upside. Miami has depth in its bullpen after signing Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa. They join right-handers A.J. Ramos, Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps, and Dustin McGowan.
"When you look at how we've put the pitching staff together, we may have two or three who are considered long guys to take the ball whenever Donnie sees fit to get it back to the seventh and eighth innings," Hill said. "I would say it's more of a bridge to get to the back end."