Early Spring rotation set

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez on Saturday set his early Grapefruit League rotation.

The team opens its exhibition season on Wednesday against the University of Miami. Ricky Nolasco will start that game, and Ryan Tucker will enter in relief. John Baker will catch.

Florida’s Grapefruit League season begins on Thursday against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. Anibal Sanchez will take the mound that game, and he will be backed by Rick VandenHurk.

On Friday, against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Chris Volstad will get the nod, followed by Hayden Penn.

Josh Johnson, who will be the Opening Day starter, will make his Grapefruit League debut on March 6 against the Cardinals. Clay Hensley will follow.

On March 7 against the Cardinals, Sean West will get the start. Andrew Miller also will pitch in that game.

The first time around, the starters will pitch about two innings, or 35 total pitches.

Nolasco will make his first Grapefruit League start on March 8 in a split squad game against the Nationals in Viera. Tucker will face the Mets that day in Jupiter.

Early on, Baker and Ronny Paulino will alternate at catcher.

The Marlins have yet to solidify their rotation for the regular season. There is open competition for three spots. Only Johnson and Nolasco are locked into the rotation.

The candidates who are starting off first will flip-flop in their next scheduled appearances. For instance, while, Sanchez is starting on Thursday, and VandenHurk will enter in relief, the next time around, VandenHurk will start the following week, with Sanchez coming in relief. The same holds true for the games that Volstad and West will start.

– Joe Frisaro

 

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