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Cody Ross Gets the Green Light; Nate Robertson Moves Up in Rotation


NEW YORK -- Gorgeous weather here in the Big Apple, where the Marlins are down on the field taking batting practice in advance of tomorrow's season opener against the New York Mets. There's some news, so let's get you caught up:

Cody Ross made a decent enough showing in a simulation game on Sunday back in Jupiter to convince the higher-ups he's good to go for Opening Day. In fact, manager Fredi Gonzalez has Ross in the starting lineup for Game 1 of 162.

Ross, of course, has missed extensive time with a calf injury. But he's also been sidelined at various times this spring by thumb and groin injuries, all of which has limited him to just 22 at bats. Is that enough? I wonder, but the Marlins figure he's the best option. If Ross had gone on the DL, Emilio Bonifacio, because he can hit right-handed, would have likely received the start in right tomorrow against Mets left-hander Johan Santana.The Marlins would have also added outfielder Scott Cousins to the roster. Cousins made the trip to New York for nothing. His big-league debut will come at a later date.

Gonzalez also announced Sunday that he was moving Nate Robertson to the third spot in the rotation, which means he'll take the mound Thursday when the Marlins close out their three-game series with the Mets. Anibal Sanchez, who was slotted third, will move back to the fifth spot and make his seasonal debut on April 11 at home against the Dodgers. Gonzalez said the thinking was the Marlins didn't want Robertson, if he had remained in the fifth spot, going 10 days between outings.

Here are tomorrow's lineups:

Marlins: 1. Coghlan, 2b; 2. Maybin, cf; 3. Ramirez, ss; 4. Cantu, 3b; 5. Uggla, 2b; 6. Paulino, c; 7. Ross, rf; 8. Sanchez, 1b; 9. Johnson, p.

 Mets: 1. Cora, ss; 2. Castillo, 2b; 3. Wright, 3b; 4. Jacobs, 1b; 5. Bay, lf; 6. Francoeur, rf; Matthews, cf; 8. Barajas, c; 9. Santana, p.

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