ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins did some shuffling with their bullpen on Wednesday, selecting the contract of Ben Meyer from Triple-A New Orleans and optioning Odrisamer Despaigne to the Baby Cakes. The move essentially swaps right-handed long relievers.The promotion of Meyer to the big leagues on Wednesday is fitting, because
ST. LOUIS -- The Marlins did some shuffling with their bullpen on Wednesday, selecting the contract of Ben Meyer from Triple-A New Orleans and optioning Odrisamer Despaigne to the Baby Cakes. The move essentially swaps right-handed long relievers.
The promotion of Meyer to the big leagues on Wednesday is fitting, because the transaction comes on the final day of the MLB Draft, when late-rounders are selected.
"We saw him in Spring Training, and he's a guy who has good stuff," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's had a great start in Triple-A, doing a lot of starting. But he's a guy we've felt like can also help us in the bullpen. The opportunity there will be almost twofold with him, seeing what that looks like."
A starter at Triple-A, Meyer will be used in a swing role, working in the bullpen and being available to spot start.
Meyer was a 29th-round pick by the Marlins in 2015, and the 6-foot-5, 180-pounder is reaching the big leagues at age 25.
"I think it's not always a bad thing to go late in the Draft," Meyer said. "It gives guys a little more of an edge, wanting to prove people wrong. That's kind of what worked for me, put a little chip on my shoulder. It's the same game, too. Once you get drafted, you just need that opportunity. You need to get outs and take care of what you can control."
With New Orleans, Meyer was 3-4 with a 4.09 ERA in 10 starts. In 50 2/3 innings, he has 39 strikeouts and 14 walks, along with a WHIP of 1.22.
In 294 Minor League innings, Meyer has a career ERA of 2.97 with 297 strikeouts and 72 walks.
Despaigne, who started Miami's third game of the season, was moved to the bullpen after one start. The right-hander appeared in 11 games and was 2-0 with a 5.31 ERA. In 20 1/3 innings, he had 18 strikeouts and eight walks.
The Marlins plan on changing up their rotation, and Trevor Richards is expected to be recalled from New Orleans and start on Thursday at St. Louis. Elieser Hernandez, initially lined up for Thursday's series finale with the Cardinals, will be moved to the bullpen.
The Marlins have had their share of pitchers who made it to the big leagues after being drafted on the third day in lower rounds. In 2008, Tom Koehler was an 18th-round selection, and AJ Ramos went in the 21st round in 2009.
Meyer and Richards are part of a wave of young pitchers in the moving up through the Marlins' system.
"There's a lot of guys throwing the baseball well," Mattingly said. "There's competition to move forward."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.