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Marlins Roster News: Chris O’Grady will be used out of the bullpen

Don Mattingly is trying to turn the former starter into a lefty specialist.

Miami Marlins v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Marlins activated LHP Chris O’Grady off the disabled list Tuesday after he missed more than a month with a strained oblique.

O’Grady was used as a starter before his injury, but now Don Mattingly says he wants to use the lefty out of then bullpen, at least for the remainder of 2017.

The 27-year-old rookie made six starts before his injury, posting a 5.47 ERA and 1.56 WHIP with 26 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.

O’Grady made his first appearance out of the bullpen Wednesday, pitching the ninth inning with a 9-2 lead over the Mets. He allowed one hit and walked a batter in a scoreless frame, but did retire both lefties he faced.

Even the hit was a lucky one, as O’Grady was getting soft contact using his cutter.

The inning was a promising one for Mattingly and the Marlins, who got a chance to see what the lefty can do in a relief role. Of O’Grady’s 24 pitches Wednesday afternoon, only 11 were fastballs, while the other 13 were cutters. He worked in a changeup and curveball as a starter, but a two-pitch mix could be all we see from O’Grady as a reliever.

The 2012 10th-round pick may not have a future in the Marlins starting rotation, but his elevated use of the cutter and success against lefties could land O’Grady a spot in Miami’s bullpen in 2018.