Carlos Marmol is the latest reliever to continue a long Miami Marlins tradition of acquiring bullpen reclamation projects.
Marmol, plagued by a history of wildness, posted an ugly 5.86 ERA in 31 games with the Chicago Cubs last year before being sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"What can you say? Bad year,'' Marmol said. "When you have a bad year, things happen. For any pitcher, when you don't do your job, it makes it frustrating for everybody."
But the Marlins are counting on better results from Marmol because of a change in mechanics.
"He looks like he's changed his delivery a little bit. I remember him over the past being a little bit more across his body," said manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher. "Now he's kind of squared up and centered up his front foot on his delivery."
Miami signed Marmol to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million after scouting him in the Dominican Winter League and liking what they saw. They are gambling that he can overcome control problems -- he issued 95 walks in 104 1/3 innings over his last two seasons.
"Hopefully, he can build off what he's done in the winter," Redmond said.
If he succeeds, he can be an invaluable piece of insurance for the back of the bullpen.
"I feel great with a new team," he said. "There's a lot of talent here."
So far in camp, Marmol, 31, has looked good.
"He's got a great slider and a good fastball," Redmond said. "Like all those guys, it's about pounding the strike zone and getting ahead of the hitters. It makes your breaking ball so much more effective."
--RHP Steve Cishek threw off the mound Friday for eight minutes as he eases back into full workouts. He missed two bullpen sessions because of a sore neck, but he expects to be ready for the season.
--RHP Jose Fernandez is scheduled to start the Marlins' Grapefruit League opener Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is expected to start Miami's season opener, too, although manager Mike Redmond has yet to make that official.
--RHP Jacob Turner was a disappointment last spring, opening the year at Class AAA New Orleans after posting a 9.69 ERA in the Grapefruit League. The Marlins are counting on him to earn a rotation spot this spring.
"He's a guy we look to be in the rotation,'' manager Mike Redmond said. "There's a lot of competition there, too. He's got to earn it.''
--LHP Andrew Heaney, the Marlins' top left-handed prospect, knows that Jose Fernandez made the leap from Class A to the majors last year. Heaney, 22, isn't putting a timetable on his arrival, but the Marlins aren't ruling out the possibility it could be in 2014.
"I think it's probably an individual case where you look at guys and you try to figure out, can this guy make the jump? You never really know unless they get the opportunity,'' said manager Mike Redmond.
Heaney went 9-3 with a 1.60 ERA last year for Class A Jupiter and Class AA Jacksonville.
--RHP Henderson Alvarez brought his wife and infant daughter to South Florida late last week to escape the violence in their native Venezuela. Alvarez and several teammates posed for a photo, each holding a sign that read: "Paz" (Peace in Spanish.)
"With the picture I'm hoping to send a message to Venezuela to have peace, to leave the violence behind,'' he said.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm not here to lose a hundred games. I want to win.'' -- Manager Mike Redmond.