PITTSBURGH -- The Marlins recalled left-handed pitcher José Quijada from Triple-A New Orleans on Thursday, which completed the club's expected September roster additions.
Quijada had been optioned to New Orleans on Aug. 26. The 23-year-old reliever appeared in 27 games with Miami earlier this season, posting a 5.55 ERA.
Now that the clubhouse is about as full as its going to get, there are 32 blue-trimmed uniforms hanging on game days, which can make for a crowded arrangement. Seventeen of them are pitchers, including 12 relievers. Seven play outfield. Three are catchers.
The players that were brought up to the Majors were recalled for a reason: The Marlins want to get prospects experience, see what they have in players they must make decisions on at the end of the season and reward those that had strong seasons at Triple-A.
But balancing all of those things, while still trying to earn some victories, is a tough job for manager Don Mattingly and his staff.
“It’s a little bit of a juggling act,” Mattingly said before Thursday’s series finale with the Pirates at PNC Park. “Once we had the callups, we knew we wanted to see a little bit of everybody. So the fact that you know you’re going to do that going into the month, talking with [president of baseball operations] Mike [Hill] on what we want to see, makes it easier.”
In the bullpen, it’s more complicated. There isn’t a set plan as to who will pitch on a given night, and if the starters are throwing well, opportunities may be few and far between. Despite an extra-innings win on Tuesday, just five relievers saw action in the first two games of the series.
“There are certain guys you want to see,” Mattingly said. “If the starting pitcher is throwing well, he is developing, too. I think every one of our starters is a rookie. Those guys need to develop, also. … You’re trying to get it from all sides.”
“I had kind of started to get used to that role, because before [the callups], I was being more of a utility guy and playing all over the field,” Berti said. “I come prepared to be flexible and do whatever the team needs.”