The Miami Marlins are a mess. Their modest-at-best playoff chances entering the season have taken a hit during their 13-18 start, and lately they've been victimized by the injury bug. In May alone, the Marlins have placed on the disabled list starters Wei-Yin Chen and Edinson Volquez, as well as infielders Martin Prado and Miguel Rojas.
Add in Tuesday's roster moves (Adam Conley's demotion and the promotions of Tomas Telis and Tyler Moore), and the Marlins enter their game against the Cardinals with an odd roster arrangement -- one more befitting of a Wild Card Game than a random series in early May.
That's because the Marlins have more bench players than starting pitchers. Put another way, the Marlins could assign each of their starters a personal catcher. Take a look:
- SP (3) - Dan Straily, Tom Koehler, Jose Urena
- RP (9) - A.J. Ramos, Brad Ziegler, Kyle Barraclough, Junichi Tazawa, David Phelps, Nick Wittgren, Jarlin Garcia, Brian Ellington, Dustin McGowan
- C (3) - J.T. Realmuto, A.J. Ellis, Tomas Telis
- INF (6) - Justin Bour, Dee Gordon, Derek Dietrich, Adeiny Hechavarria, J.T. Riddle, Tyler Moore
- OF (4) - Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Ichiro Suzuki
Weird, right? The oddness speaks to Miami's poor depth in all areas sans relievers.
Miami's 40-man roster is pitching-heavy, evidenced by the fact that they have just three position players on the 40-man who are stationed in the minors, yet most of their arms are current or future relievers. Hence the Marlins turning to Telis (a third catcher unlikely to see much action) and Moore (who they jettisoned once already) when they have the chance for a bloated bench.
Alas, this complexion isn't long for the world. The Marlins will have Volquez back in the coming days, and will need another starter by this weekend. (Chen, who is battling a "dead arm," is now expected to miss more than one start.) Eventually, you would think the Marlins would like to move Urena back to the bullpen, too, but who knows when they'll be able to do that.
What is known is this: for a night or two, the Marlins will have the league's most unusual roster.