Garcia among Marlins' top prospects optioned

Garcia among Marlins' top prospects optioned

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins thinned out their pitching numbers on Wednesday by making eight moves. Included were three pitchers ranked by MLBPipeline.com among the organization's top 10 prospects: Jarlin Garcia (No. 3), Kendry Flores (No. 5) and Jacob Esch (No. 9).

Miami also sent Tim Berry, Austin Brice, Nick Wittgren, Scott McGough and Dylan Axelrod to the Minor Leagues.

There are 48 players remaining in big league camp.

Berry and Garcia -- both left-handers -- were optioned to Double-A Jacksonville, as were Brice and Esch. Flores, Wittgren and McGough were assigned to Triple-A New Orleans. Axelrod was reassigned to Minor League camp.

Wittgren is the Marlins' No. 21-ranked prospect and Brice is No. 23.

Flores and McGough each saw big league time for Miami last year, and Wittgren is considered close to being Major League-ready.

"A number of guys catch your eye, as a potential moving forward," manager Don Mattingly said. "There are guys that we like. There are different mixes in that for me. There are guys who have been in camp who you feel have a good chance of being here by the end of the year. And other guys you think may be a couple of years out, but are on the way."

Of the eight, only Axelrod is not on the 40-man roster.

"Camps are good for guys," Mattingly said. "I just go back to myself. Scared to death when I went to big league camp. You don't know how to act. You don't know the guys. Then once we get guys in camp, and get to know each other a little bit, they are so much more comfortable the next time they come, and things just change for them after that first one. I think we have some guys who are going to be on the move."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.