Marlins call up Garcia to bolster 'pen

Lefty listed as No. 4 prospect in Miami system

Marlins call up Garcia to bolster 'pen

MIAMI -- A left-handed reliever has joined the Marlins' bullpen. The club recalled Jarlin Garcia from Double-A Jacksonville on Friday as the corresponding move to optioning right-hander Nick Wittgren to Triple-A New Orleans.

The Marlins were forced to make a roster move because Thursday night's 9-8 loss to the Mets lasted 16 innings. With a taxed bullpen, Miami needed an available reliever for the second of four games with New York.

Thursday's exhausting, 5-hour, 38-minute game also forced the Marlins to tinker a bit with their rotation. Adam Conley, originally scheduled to start Friday, was used in the 16th inning Thursday, surrendering a game-winning home run to Travis d'Arnaud.

After throwing 19 pitches Thursday, Conley was pushed back one day and will now face the Mets on Saturday. Edinson Volquez started in his place Friday.

"We went 13 [innings] out of our 'pen," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Thursday's backlash. "You asked a lot out of those guys. You never know what happens."

Wittgren, who threw three scoreless innings Wednesday, was the primary candidate to be sent down, because he has options. Garcia will be the first southpaw in the 'pen.

Wittgren perfect over three

Garcia is ranked by as the Marlins' fourth-best prospect.

Garcia most recently pitched Wednesday for the Jumbo Shrimp, and he has thrown four scoreless innings on the season.

This is Garcia's second callup, but he has yet to appear in an MLB game. Garcia was with Miami last season from May 15-18 before being sent back to Double-A.

Although left-handed, Garcia is not going to be used as a specialist. He mostly has been a starter in the Minor Leagues, but the organization has converted him to the bullpen. He threw a scoreless sixth inning Friday, although he was in a jam with Jose Reyes on third and one out. He got a huge strikeout, fanning Rene Rivera, and the inning ended on Curtis Granderson's popout to third.

"I had to kind of get my emotions in check and settle down," Garcia said. "After the guy was on third, I was like, 'I've got to settle down and help my team win.'"

Garcia was in Spring Training with the Marlins, and he's refining his delivery under the supervision of pitching coach Juan Nieves and Jim Benedict, the vice president of pitching development.

"I've got to give credit to Nieves and Benedict, who have kept the plan for me," Garcia said. "They told me to stay focused and work on driving off my back leg and improving my pitches."

How long Garcia will stay with the club remains to be seen. The Marlins are carrying eight relievers and four position players on the bench, but that may flip to seven relievers and five position players when third baseman Martin Prado is ready to come off the disabled list.

Prado, who opened the season on the DL with a right hamstring strain, has played in two rehab assignment games with Class A Advanced Jupiter. He is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday for the Hammerheads, and he might be reinstated Monday at Seattle.

Worth noting

• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique, fielded grounders Friday and did some hitting off flips in the cage. The plan is for Hechavarria to play in a rehab assignment game next, beginning on Monday with the Hammerheads.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. 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.