Optimism that Stanton, LoMo will be ready

JUPITER, Fla. — The Marlins are optimistic that Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison will be ready for Opening Day.

The two took a step closer to making that a reality on Saturday when they each had at-bats in an intrasquad Minor League scrimmage at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

Stanton (left knee inflammation) and Morrison (right knee inflammation) got at-bats. Morrison had a double, while Stanton belted two home runs.

Afterwards, they each ran sprints without any discomfort.

Stanton likely will be playing the field on Tuesday. And Morrison, who didn’t push running at all during the scrimmage, is hopeful to be ready when the season gets going on April 4 against the Cardinals at Marlins Park.

Greg Dobbs (left hamstring) is set to be a designated hitter on Sunday on the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium. Dobbs likely will be set for the season opener.

Manager Ozzie Guillen said the club will closely monitor Stanton and Morrison.

The team is weighing whether to take one or two backup outfielders. They’d like one to be a right-handed hitter. Austin Kearns and Aaron Rowand are in the mix.

Left-handed hitting Bryan Petersen and Chris Coghlan are also competing for roster spots.

“Whoever is going to be the backup outfielder, he has to be ready,” Guillen said. “LoMo, he had the knee injury last year. We’re going to monitor that, and hopefully keep him as healthy as we can.”

Lefty reliever Randy Choate threw a perfect inning on Saturday in a Minor League scrimmage. Choate, who had been dealing with tightness in his right side, will pitch in his first Grapefruit League game on Monday, against the Tigers in Lakeland.

Guillen said he’d like for Choate to be ready to face left-handed and right-handed hitters this year.

“I don’t want him to have in the back of his mind, I only get paid to get lefties out,” Guillen said. “He’s got to be ready to get righties out too. Left specialists, that’s a good way to make money. Get one guy and get out. No, he’s got to be ready for righties too, because sooner or later we’re going to need him to get a righty.”

Joe Frisaro

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