The Miami Marlins signed long-time reliever Jon Rauch to a minor league deal Tuesday. Rauch has spent more than 10 years in the bullpen of six teams in the major leagues. Rauch has the ability to close games and to be a setup man in certain situations but what the Marlins could use him for the most important thing and that is the experience he brings into spring training.
If you are manager Mike Redmond, you are excited about Rauch joining the team. In his career, Rauch has appeared in 541 games, has an ERA of 3.80 and 460 strikeouts over his major league career. Rauch is 34-years-old which could be a reason why he does not make the opening day roster but with a bullpen that includes Daniel Jennings, Steve Cishek and Tom Koehler among others, Rauch’s knowledge of being in that position could really help this young Marlins staff that will be responsible to hold down the fort.
If Rauch does perform well enough during spring training, he is an extra benefit to help out this Marlins team that needs all the help it could get. Cishek was thrown into the closer role last season taking over for Heath Bell, who had an awful one-year stint with Miami. Cishek, 26, saved 15 games in 68 appearances last season. He is entering his second full season with the team and could become the future closer of the team if he plays his cards right.
Ryan Webb will also tandem with Rauch as the setup man for now. Webb is trying to bounce back from an off 2012 where he ERA skyrocketed to 4.03 after being a solid 3.20 in 2011.
Marlins pitching prospect Jose Ceda is expected to be back this season at some point after undergoing Tommy John surgery last April. Ceda is the closer to be if he stays healthy.