Nolasco likely No. 2 starter

VIERA, Fla. — All signs are pointing to Ricky Nolasco being ready to be Florida’s No. 2 starter when the season opens.

Nolasco has been nursing a sore right thumb, but the right-hander still projects to be ready for the April 2 game against the Mets at Sun Life Stadium.

Josh Johnson will be pitching on Opening Night on April 1.

Nolasco threw a 55-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday, and he is expected to throw off the mound again on Friday. The plan is two more bullpen sessions, a live batting practice and a simulated game before he takes the mound in a Spring Training game.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says Nolasco likely will be throwing in a game on March 13.

“[Game Two] is very realistic if everything stays in order,” Rodriguez said. “He should be fine for that.”

Rodriguez says Nolasco’s body language of late has shown he is ready to pitch.

“He’s been bouncing around, and he was having fun, which is always good,” Rodriguez said.

Other items of note from Rodriguez’s morning press briefing:

* Mike Stanton continues to feel better and walk with limited discomfort. But the right quad will keep him out at least two weeks.

* Greg Dobbs was shaken up after being in a mild collision at first base on Tuesday. Dobbs bruised his knee. He was to be the designated hitter on Wednesday, but he was scratched from the lineup.

* Josh Johnson will throw 55 pitches or three innings on Wednesday.

* The Marlins renewed the contracts of Stanton, Logan Morrison, Ryan Webb and Gaby Sanchez.

Joe Frisaro

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