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06/02/08 6:58 PM EST

Marlins sticking to deep bullpen for now

Team is carrying 13 pitchers to spread out late-inning duties

ATLANTA -- Thirteen is a number working out just fine for the Marlins.

At least, for now it is. The club is carrying 13 pitchers, which somewhat limits manager Fredi Gonzalez's options off the bench regarding position players.

But with a young staff that has had its struggles to work deeper into games, having the extra arm has been helpful.

"We haven't decided how long we are going to be with 13," Gonzalez said.

Earlier in the road trip, Gonzalez said he would keep 13 until the four-game set in Atlanta. And 13 pitchers will be on hand at least through Tuesday night.

If the team opts to go back to 12 pitchers, which it carried at the start of the season, a right-handed hitter off the bench is what the team is looking at.

The Marlins have plenty of left-handed hitters, including switch-hitting Alfredo Amezaga, who hits far better from the left side.

Gonzalez noted that there haven't been many times that being a bit shorthanded on the bench was an issue. Where it comes into play is if both Wes Helms and Cody Ross are starting. That takes two right-handed-hitting bats with power out of the equation for pinch-hitting.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.