Reporting Tim Kephart
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JUPITER, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins rotation appears to be set heading into the regular season and have the closer role set to be in the hands of Heath Bell. That leaves just the setup man as the final major piece of the Fish’s staff to be settled.
As of now, the role appears to be in the hands of Edward Mujica.
“For me, it’s his job to lose,” pitching coach Randy St. Claire told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “When you’re in a one-run, two-run game, you can’t be putting guys on base. He doesn’t. He makes them hit the ball.”
The Marlins had originally former close Juan Carlos Oviedo (also known as Leo Nuñez) would take over the setup role. But Oviedo is still in the Dominican Republic after his false identity was revealed late last season.
Last season, Mujica ended up with a 9-6 record and a 2.96 ERA. He pitched a total of 76 innings and had a strikeout to walk ratio of 63-14. He was part of a set-up role by committee approach to the bullpen and had just two walks in 33 1/3 innings of pitching in the eighth inning.
According to the Herald, Mujica had left-handed hitters batting just .220 against him while right-handed batters hit just .245 against the Marlins set-up man.
During the spring, Mujica has made five appearances, has a 1.80 ERA and struck out six and walked none.
As for the starting pitching rotation, it appears ready to go after this week’s final few games in spring training.
Ace Josh Johnson will pitch opening day against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 4. New Marlin Mark Buehrle is set to go second, followed by Ricky Nolasco, Carlos Zambrano, and Anibal Sanchez.
It will be quite a different rotation than last year, but it has the potential to be very good if Nolasco and Zambrano can pitch well as the season goes forward.