Marlins going with one southpaw in bullpen

Marlins going with one southpaw in bullpen

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An ideal bullpen situation is to feature two lefty relievers, at least one with a history of shutting down left-handed hitters.

The reality the Marlins faced in Spring Training was that there weren't two viable candidates, so they opted to retain just one.

Mike Dunn will be the lone southpaw available in the bullpen when Miami opens against Washington on Monday at Nationals Park.

In finalizing their 25-man roster, team management felt it was best to go with a more experienced right-hander, like Chad Qualls, over rushing a young lefty like Dan Jennings, who will open the season at Triple-A New Orleans.

"You always consider it, but it's not a high priority for us," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said of carrying two lefties. "I think Dan Jennings can pitch here. I think Zach Phillips can pitch here."

Phillips, like Jennings, will start off with the Zephyrs.

Miami had lefty candidates in Spring Training. Other than Dunn, none clearly won a roster spot.

"You saw them all here in camp," Beinfest said. "We've got guys we think can pitch here. We've talked about, 'You have to have two lefties.' Yes, it's probably better, but you want to have guys who can get outs. We wanted to add some experience to the 'pen.

"Instead of maybe an inexperienced lefty, having an experienced righty, we thought was more valuable. I think we have candidates from left sides, so it hasn't been a high priority."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter