Still weighing rotation options

JUPITER, Fla. — Javier Vazquez pitched effectively on Friday, but did the veteran secure the No. 3 spot in the Marlins’ rotation?

It’s still too early to tell.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez says the team has an idea on how they will line up their starting five, but the exact order is still subject to change.

Aside from Josh Johnson pitching on Opening Night against the Mets, there still is uncertainty.

Ricky Nolasco projects to be the No. 2 starter, going on April 2 at Sun Life Stadium. But Nolasco has yet to pitch in a Grapefruit League game because of a bruised right thumb. The right-hander threw off the mound on Friday, and the session went well. He next will have a bullpen session on Sunday.

The target date for Nolasco to be in a game is March 13 versus the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. If he makes that start, he would be lined up to pitch on April 2.

Should Nolasco not be ready to open the season, then Vazquez appears to be the frontrunner to pitch the second game. Otherwise, Vazquez and Anibal Sanchez are choices for the third and fourth spots, with Chris Volstad as the fifth starter.

If Johnson and Nolasco line up one and two, then Vazquez is the likely candidate to pitch the third game.

“We’re going to wait and see,” Rodriguez said. “We keep saying we have an idea. But we’re going to wait and see how everything develops in Spring Training. Right now, we have an idea. We haven’t seen Ricky on the mound yet. As soon as we see Ricky on the mound and how he feels, we’ll have a better idea.”

Joe Frisaro

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