Crunch time about to begin

JUPITER, Fla. — So far, there have been plenty of positives for the Marlins this Spring Training. They’ve shown depth, and the ability to win games. Not that it means much, but the club wakes up on St. Patrick’s Day with an 11-7 record, which is tied with the Giants for the best mark among any National League team.

The pitching, as expected, has been strong. Their 2.84 ERA is the best of any team in the Majors. A highlight was a rare Spring Training no-hitter on Saturday against the Yankees in Panama.

Hitting, obviously, is an issue. They have scored 74 runs, which ranks 26th in the Majors.

In general, hitting tends to be behind the pitching the first half of Spring Training.

Another bonus for the Marlins is they’ve been relatively healthy, except for Rafael Furcal’s hamstring strain.

Overall, it’s been a productive camp.

That said, a better indicator of where the Marlins stand starts now, on St. Patrick’s Day.

Another round of roster moves is likely on Monday, and the competition will heat up for remaining roster spots. There are 13 games left in Spring Training, and Opening Day is March 31 against the Rockies at Marlins Park.

Now is the time to focus on bubble spots, and players on the fence. Until now, players were getting their timing and swings down, and working on their and pitches. The performance over these next 13 days should give a better clue of what to expect from the Marlins once the regular season gets underway.

Joe Frisaro

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