MIAMI -- Staying patient organizationally can be difficult, especially when you're trying to win at the big league level. But the Marlins are striving to not be so impulsive when something goes wrong, and currently, plenty of attention is being given to an inconsistent bullpen.Manager Don Mattingly understands the criticism,
MIAMI -- Staying patient organizationally can be difficult, especially when you're trying to win at the big league level. But the Marlins are striving to not be so impulsive when something goes wrong, and currently, plenty of attention is being given to an inconsistent bullpen.
Manager Don Mattingly understands the criticism, especially after games like Friday's 6-3 loss to the Braves, when the bullpen surrendered a one-run lead in the eighth inning by allowing four runs.
The immediate reaction is to change things up, and the club has several hard throwers at Triple-A New Orleans.
Kyle Barraclough, who struggled throwing strikes in Spring Training, is off to a strong start in New Orleans. The right-handed reliever has a 1.50 ERA and nine strikeouts and one walk in six innings. He's being used in multiple innings in the Minors.
"It's only been a few games, but I know Kyle is throwing the ball really well down there," Mattingly said.
The front office is continuing to monitor Barraclough, Miami's 20th-rated prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, and a promotion appears to just be a matter of time.
For all its prospects, Mattingly says the organization is striving to not rush development.
"I know we've had a tendency here to always bring guys right away," Mattingly said. "One thing we're trying to do is let those guys develop a little bit, knowing that we're going to need them."
Along with Barraclough, New Orleans reliever candidates Jose Urena and Brian Ellington have fastballs in the 98-100-mph range. So does Nefi Ogandp. But the right-hander is on the Minor League disabled list with a minor thumb injury.
Assessing his bullpen, Mattingly said it has mirrored the first week of the season.
"It's been some good, some bad," the Miami manager said. "I think like everything with us, so far, we've had some good games, we've had some bad games. We've swung the bats pretty well, and other games, we leave guys out there."
Mattingly added that the bullpen has been heavily used, as no starter has gone past 6 1/3 innings in the first eight games.
"You try to always just put them in a good position," Mattingly said. "You try to keep them rested. We've asked a lot. They've been asked to throw a lot of innings.
"Those guys are pretty much everyday players. They're, obviously, better when they're better rested and you give them a little breathing room. Things like that."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.