In the literal sense, Carlos Marmol always gets back in the saddle. He owns a ranch in his native Dominican Republic and spends much of his offseason riding horses.

"That's my hobby," said Marmol, who currently has about 60 horses back home in Bonao. "I breed them. I sell them. One of my passions I've had since I was a kid."

His other passion pays for the hobby. Like his life on horseback, baseball has thrown Marmol only to see him dust off and hop back on the mound. The last of those disgraceful dismounts came last season, when the Cubs designated the struggling Marmol for assignment before trading him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Control issues are nothing new for Marmol, who since his first full big league season in 2007 leads all major league relievers with 326 walks. That's 93 more than Kevin Gregg, who's second on that list.

In terms of walks per nine innings, Marmol since 2007 is third in the majors with 6.03. Only Brian Bruney (6.14) and J.C. Romero (6.05), both from 2007-'12, have walked more per nine the last seven seasons.

Not exactly reassuring, especially since the Marlins are hoping Marmol can establish himself as a regular eighth-inning guy. It's a low-risk, high-reward deal for the Marlins, who signed Marmol to a $1.25 million base salary.

They were encouraged by what they saw at the end of 2013. His ERA dropped from 5.86 in 27 2/3 innings with the Cubs to 2.53 in 21 1/3 innings with the Dodgers. His strikeouts per nine also ticked up from 10.4 to 11.4, but so did his walks per nine (6.8 to 8.0).