MIAMI -- The Marlins don't have a clear-cut situation at closer. Fernando Rodney has had his struggles since taking over a month ago, and A.J. Ramos is a safety net having handled the role in the first half.
But Ramos is still experiencing some discomfort from the fractured third finger that landed him on the disabled list from Aug. 9-20. On Friday, he collected the save in Miami's 4-1 win over the Dodgers, but he is still managing pitching through some pain.
Manager Don Mattingly is taking a wait-and-see approach regarding who will get the call if there is a save situation.
Rodney and Ramos were both All-Stars this season, and both have been agreeable to doing whatever is necessary to help the team. Miami is striving to make a final push for a postseason spot, and the players are putting their own preferences aside.
"Right now, we're trying to get to the playoffs," Ramos said. "We're trying to get wins. Just like when [Rodney] came in, he wasn't like, 'I should be the closer because of this, this and that.' He was like, 'OK, if I'm the eighth-inning guy, I'm going to go out there and do the job.' We've all taken that same kind of attitude towards it, to go forward from here and get as many wins as possible."
Ramos has converted 33 of 36 chances on the season, and Rodney has 25, with eight since he was dealt from the Padres to the Marlins in late June.
Ramos isn't the first Marlins pitcher to experience finger discomfort. Andrew Cashner recently was skipped one start as he was dealing with a blister.
"We've had Cashner with the finger," Mattingly said. "That shut him down for almost 10 days. A.J.'s was a DL stint, and still we know it's not just going to be gone. Obviously, finger pressure is something they talk about a lot."
Ramos still has swelling in the knuckle, and he will manage the discomfort the rest of the season.
"Obviously, I can't do the same things I was doing earlier in the year," Ramos said. "I'm all about grip and finger strength."
Still, Ramos isn't shying away from taking the ball, because at this point in the season, many players are dealing with some kind of ailment.
"For right now, it's just being able to deal with the pain," Ramos said. "If it's just pain, and I know nothing else bad is going to happen to it, I can deal with it. It's just going to be a little tougher."