5. Who is Going to Close Games?
The bullpen as a whole is expected to be a area of strength for the Marlins in 2016, and will be relied upon greatly considering how weak the rotation looks behind Fernandez and Chen.
However, there is one major question that the Marlins will have to answer by the end of Spring Training:
Who is going to close the game out?
Ramos was given the closer’s job on May 24 and had a good season compiling a 2.30 ERA and a 31.4 K% in a little over 70 innings pitched, and he cut his walk rate by 41%.
His first half numbers were even better as he pitched to a 1.11 ERA in 40.2 innings pitched. Ultimately he struggled in the second half with an ERA just under 4.00 (3.94) which is unacceptable for a closer.
Capps became the most unhittable reliever in baseball in his setup role last season with a funky delivery. Capps owned the best perceived velocity of any reliever at 101.1 mph. Aroldis Champan came in second at 100 mph. If you haven’t seen it, Capps essentially crow hops on the mound and vaults himself a few feet closer to the plate at the point of release while also throwing from an awkward arm slot. Capps struck out 58 of the 118 batters he faced last season.
An injury shut down his season sooner than expected but he complied a 1.16 ERA in 31 IP with a 76% whiff rate.
Both Ramos and Capps proved they can close, and unless one stands out from the other in March, the Marlins will have a closer by committee to start the regular season.