Versatile 'pen learning from early-season tests

Versatile 'pen learning from early-season tests

HOUSTON -- Righty reliever Ryan Webb started the season by allowing two runs over his first two appearances in two innings. Since then, he's allowed just two runs over 12 innings. He pitched in three games of the Marlins' current six-game winning streak.

But Webb is just one of a growing number in the Marlins' bullpen who is getting the job done in some pressure situations.

"That's what you need," Webb said. "That's what's going to count. Our goal is to get to the postseason, and that's going to help in the postseason. That's going to help in a tight race at the end of the year in this tough division.

"We're going to be playing some good teams, but we've got a good team too. So we've played a lot of close games, a lot of good pitching matchups. So to get the experience early is good for a lot of guys, especially for some of the younger guys that we do have, stepping up to do these late-inning roles. We've got guys that can pitch in all those situations. So it gives [manager] Ozzie [Guillen] a lot of options to go to."

Webb said he feels like one of the strengths of the Marlins' pen is its versatility.

"I think we've shown that any one of the guys could step up and could eventually be a closer on another team," he said. "I think everybody can do it. I think everybody in the bullpen could have a role as a setup guy. We don't have anybody that's just thrown in there to eat up innings. Everybody's come out and proved they can pitch."