Cosart standing out, Stanton primed for huge season

JUPITER, Fla. — Spring Training games have been going on for about a week. With so many players filtering in and out of the lineup each day, it’s difficult to keep track of what really matters.

Here’s basically what you need to know about the Marlins right now:

* Scouts are raving about right-hander Jarred Cosart, who is making a push to be the No. 2 starter. “Top of the rotation stuff,” scouts say.

* Miami hasn’t announced it’s Opening Day starter, but the safe assumption it will be Henderson Alvarez. The rest of the rotation is shaping up as Cosart, Mat Latos, Dan Haren and the fifth starter — Tom Koehler, Brad Hand or David Phelps.

* Still worried about Giancarlo Stanton? Don’t be. Don’t pay attention to his Spring Training numbers, they mean nothing. Right now, Big G isn’t tentative in the box. There is no lingering issues stemming from getting hit in the face by a pitch last September. That’s encouraging sign No. 1.

Right now, Stanton is still shaking off the rust from not playing in months. His timing is coming. In the upcoming weeks, watch out. In his drills, Stanton is progressing nicely in his pitch recognition. Once his gets locked in, which could be in a week or two, you will start seeing the makings of an MVP-caliber player.

* Dee Gordon has two bunt singles. That’s encouraging because the early part of Spring Training is when he is working on that part of his game. Plenty of time to get his swing figured out.

* Adeiny Hechavarria’s sore right shoulder, or “dead arm,” has kept him out of game action. Problem? The club says no, but it is definitely something to watch. When he made his throwing error in the first Grapefruit League game, he basically pushed the ball on his release instead of letting loose.

* Mat Latos is being eased into game action. Right now, Latos’ health doesn’t appear to be a real concern. More will be known after he throws on Friday in his first game.

* It’s good to see Derek Dietrich’s swing coming around. Granted it is early, but a triple and walk-off homer in back-to-back games is a nice sign.

Joe Frisaro

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