Murphy frontrunner to start
JUPITER, Fla. — Not that it’s a major surprise, but Donnie Murphy has emerged as the frontrunner to be the Marlins starting third baseman on Opening Night.
Murphy made a statement on Sunday in Florida’s 6-5 win over the Nationals in Viera. He made a diving grab to snare Wilson Ramos’ grounder in the hole at short. Collecting himself quickly, he rose and threw Ramos out at first base. At the plate, he went 1-for-4, and he’s hitting .255 in Grapefruit League play.
Murphy’s offense isn’t a concern, but the team has been evaluating how he will play third base on a regular basis.
“What we’ve seen from Murph, we’re very close to saying, yeah, he should be the guy,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez added that he’d like to see Emilio Bonifacio and Greg Dobbs at third. Bonifacio is expected to be used more in a super utility role. Dobbs, a non-roster invitee, likely is making the team as a lefty hitter off the bench.
* The Marlins split squad game against the Mets on Monday was called because of rain.
* If the Marlins split squad game with the Cardinals on Monday is washed out, Ricky Nolasco will either throw a sim game in the cages or toss a Minor League game on Tuesday morning.
– Joe Frisaro