The Marlins have added a trio of left-handed relievers to their depth chart by agreeing to minor league pacts with Kyle Lobstein, Caleb Thielbar and Frank Garces, as MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Miami has also picked up outfielder Moises Sierra and catcher Carlos Paulino on minors pacts. Each of the three lefties will come to Spring Training with the opportunity to join Hunter Cervenka and Jarlin Garcia as southpaw options on the 40-man roster.
[Related: Miami Marlins Depth Chart]
Lobstein, 27, spent the bulk of the 2016 season in the Pirates organization and totaled 25 innings with the Bucs across 14 relief appearances, pitching to a 3.96 ERA with a 15-to-12 K/BB ratio. Prior to this past season, he’d been up and down with the Tigers, providing rotation depth in the form of 17 starts between the 2014-15 seasons. Lobstein is a quintessential soft-tosser, having averaged just 87.2 mph on his heater in the Majors. That’s led to plenty of struggles against right-handed hitters, who have clobbered him at a .305/.363/.484 pace in the Majors. However, lefties have been continually befuddled by Lobstein, hitting just .209/.295/.284 against the former second-rounder (Rays, 2008).
Thielbar, meanwhile, joins the Fish out of the independent league St. Paul Saints. The 29-year-old (30 in January) Minnesota native pitched not only on the indy ball circuit in his home state but also spent parts of three seasons in the Twins’ bullpen. Thielbar had a brilliant rookie season back in 2013 when he posted a 1.76 ERA with 7.6 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 across 46 innings. An extreme fly-ball pitcher, Thielbar took a step back in 2014 (3.40 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 3.0 BB/9 in 47 2/3 innings) and had a short-lived stint with Minnesota in 2015, tossing five innings and surrendering three runs. Thielbar’s averaged just a but over 89.3 mph on his fastball in his career and had success against both righties and lefties in his fairly limited time in the Majors.
Garces, 27 in January, last appeared in the Majors with the 2015 Padres. He has a 4.60 ERA in 47 big league innings and has averaged 7.7 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 with a 34.5 percent ground-ball rate. He spent 2016 with San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate and logged a 4.41 ERA in 114 1/3 innings, making 18 starts and 19 relief appearances.
The 28-year-old Sierra spent parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Blue Jays and White Sox, hitting .243/.296/.383 with nine homers across 489 plate appearances. He spent the 2016 campaign with Miami’s Double-A affiliate and batted a robust .336/.414/.519 in 307 plate appearances, although he was obviously facing younger, less experienced competition for the most part.
Paulino, 27, returns to the organization that originally signed him out of the Dominican Republic. He’s spent time with the Pirates and Twins organizations since departing the Marlins and is a career .242/.305/.290 hitter in parts of four seasons at Triple-A.