Cody Ross will rest his strained right calf once again today, leaving his status for Opening Day in doubt. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Ross could play in a minor league game on Thursday and remains optimistic that the right fielder will be good to go on Monday when the Marlins open the regular season in New York.
But the Marlins are also looking at contingency plans -- what Gonzalez calls "Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and Plan D." With Brett Carroll (strained oblique) headed to the disabled list, the Marlins have few options if Ross also goes on the DL, retroactive to March 26. If that happens, the earliest Ross would be available is April 10, meaning he would only miss the first four games of the season. The Marlins could try to get by with Emilio Bonifacio in right. They could bring up Scott Cousins or Jai Miller, who are already on the 40-man roster. They could add Bryan Petersen to the 40-man and put him in right. The least likely scenario, as tantalizing as it sounds, would be to go ahead and give Mike Stanton a shot. He, too, would need to be added to the 40-man roster, which has only two available openings at present. The Marlins are already faced with the difficult task of finding room on their 40-man roster for pitchers Jose Veras and Clay Hensley, and very possibly Brian Barden and Mike Lamb.
On a separate front, Gonzalez said Nate Robertson, who was obtained on Tuesday in a trade with the Detroit Tigers, would be slotted into the fifth spot in the rotation. He'll pitch Thursday when the Marlins close out their Grapefruit League schedule.against the Cardinals and make his first regular season start on April 10 against the Dodgers at home. Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez will start the three games in New York. Chris Volstad will pitch the home opener on April 9.
-- Wes Helms, who returned home to Alabama a couple of days ago to tend to a personal matter, is expected back for today's game in Port St. Lucie.
-- Today's lineup: Chris Coghlan, lf; Cameron Maybin, cf; Hanley Ramirez, ss; Lamb, 3b; John Baker, c; Donnie Murphy, 2b; Gaby Sanchez, 1b; Petersen, rf; Johnson.