JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins late-inning reliever Dylan Floro has been dealing with some soreness, which has prevented him from getting in a Grapefruit League game. Whether the 31-year-old righty will be ready for Opening Day on April 8 in San Francisco depends on his ability to ramp up in time.
"We'll just have to see how that goes," manager Don Mattingly said. "He is a reliever where you don't need to build him up to 100 pitches or anything like that. But I don't think you also want to rush. He got a little bit like this last year. It was kind of a barky spring for him. It takes him a little bit to get going, and once he got going he was great. So we'll just see, let that play out."
Floro, who opened 2021 in a setup role in his first season with Miami, closed out the year with the first 15 saves of his career. He tied with lefty Richard Bleier for the second-most appearances on the club. But the Marlins didn't like what they saw during Floro's first bullpen session of the spring, and they have been conservative with his throwing program; He is not shut down, though.
If Floro isn't ready, who might the Marlins turn to at the end of the game? Right-hander Anthony Bender recorded 12 holds and three saves as a rookie. After blowing his first two save chances of 2021, righty Anthony Bass compiled a 3.05 ERA and 19 holds over his final 67 outings. Bleier is a possibility if left-handed batters are lined up. For now, Miami will go closer-by-committee during high-leverage situations.
"I think we're going to be more of a mix-and-match club," Mattingly said. "We're not sitting here with Mariano [Rivera] or Kenley [Jansen] or these dudes that you say, 'This is my ninth-inning guy, he gets the ball every time.' That might develop like that, but right now, I don't think we're there."
Following the signing of Jorge Soler to bolster the lineup, general manager Kim Ng was asked whether adding a reliever was still a priority. Might this development generate a greater sense of urgency? The free-agent market is relatively thin (Richard Rodríguez and Tony Watson are among the available arms), so the trade route might make more sense. Then again, there is no indication this will be a lingering issue for Floro.
"As I mentioned, the bat was first and foremost, and making sure that we secured that and what the parameters of that looked like," Ng said on Wednesday. "And now we're definitely focused on relievers. I will say that I've gotten some nice reports on some of the guys here, so we might be able to pull from within as well."
Latest on Cabrera
Right-hander Edward Cabrera (MLB Pipeline's No. 34 overall prospect) will soon appear either on a back field or in a Grapefruit League game, according to Mattingly. As a member of the 40-man roster, the 23-year-old Dominican was unable to train with the other Minor Leaguers during the lockout.
"He was a little bit behind," Mattingly said. "We didn't feel good about getting him out there. I don't know the number of innings he's going to end up getting before he leaves. We weren't sure how he was going to walk in."
Rogers takes the mound
Left-hander Trevor Rogers went three innings in his Grapefruit League debut in Saturday afternoon's 9-2 win at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Rogers, whose scheduled day to pitch this spring was lined up with the club's off-days, was pushed back a day to appear against the Cardinals rather than on a back field. Last year's NL Rookie of the Year runner-up surrendered just a solo homer to Paul Goldschmidt in his 48-pitch outing. Rogers threw his retooled slider just three times, but he collected his only strikeout on it against Lars Nootbaar in the second inning.
"It felt great out of the hand, good movement," Rogers said. "[Catcher Jacob] Stallings went back to the dugout and he said, 'Hey, even the umpire said that was nasty.' I kind of talked to him a little bit, probably could've sprinkled in a little more spin just to keep working on it and where it is now and what I'm trying to get it to."
Jesús Luzardo will make his second spring start at 1:05 p.m. ET on Sunday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. In his Grapefruit League debut, Miami's projected No. 5 starter reached 99 mph on the radar gun.