Steckenrider tossed a scoreless inning of relief in Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Astros. It's about the only positive outing the right-hander has had this spring. Steckenrider's 11.81 ERA and 2:4 K:BB through 5.1 innings are downright brutal, and while he's expected to be in the closer mix alongside Adam Conley and possibly Sergio Romo to begin the season, Steckenrider might need to string together a couple more clean appearances before camp breaks to hang onto that assignment.
Steckenrider is a frontrunner to split the closer's role in 2019, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports. Southpaw Adam Conley was also mentioned as a candidate for saves, while newcomer Sergio Romo -- the team's most experienced endgame option -- also figures to remain in the conversation. Manager Don Mattingly said the Marlins are expected to take a flexible approach to the ninth inning in 2019, using matchups to determine who takes the ball. Steckenrider compiled five saves to go with a 3.90 ERA and 10.3 K/9 across 64.2 innings last season.
Steckenrider gave up a hit and a walk while striking out two in a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday to record his fourth save of the season in a 2-1 win over the Phillies. He's maintaining a tenuous hold on the Marlins' closer job, converting two straight save chances to begin September after coughing up seven runs and blowing one save over his final four appearances of August. Steckenrider's 70:25 K:BB through 59.1 innings on the season is strong, but his 3.94 ERA reflects his inconsistency.
Steckenrider picked up his third save of the season Monday against the Phillies, striking out two in a perfect ninth inning. It was a nice bounce-back effort from Steckenrider, who allowed five runs while recording just two outs in his previous two outings. The right-hander needed just 16 pitches -- 11 of which were strikes -- to sit down the Phillies in order to secure the victory. Steckenrider is Miami's top option for saves at the moment, but he's not an ideal reliever to rely on in terms of fantasy value given team context and his 4.01 ERA on the season.
Steckenrider (4-4) was charged with a blown save and a loss Friday against the Blue Jays, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while recording just two outs. He struck out one. Steckenrider took over for Kyle Barraclough with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and a 5-1 lead. After getting the first batter he faced to strike out, Steckenrider walked in a run before serving up a go-ahead grand slam to Justin Smoak. He's now allowed five runs while recording just two outs over his last two appearances, raising his ERA from 3.34 to 4.08 -- the highest it's been since early June. The right-hander has converted just one of three save chances since entering the ninth-inning mix earlier in August.