JUPITER -- The rotation is lined up to go Josh Johnson, Ricky Nolasco, Javier Vazquez, Anibal Sanchez and Chris Volstad -- at the moment.
But manager Edwin Rodriguez said that could change depending on how Nolasco and Sanchez pitch in their next starts. Nolasco, who is penciled into the No. 2 spot and would follow Johnson to face the Mets on April 2, has pitched poorly in his first two spring starts. If he doesn't show improvement in his third outing, Rodriguez said he could get pushed back.
"The thumb (injury) is not a concern," Rodriguez said. "It's the quality of his pitches."
With Sanchez, the issue is his leg. He took a line drive off his right shin in his previous outing, forcing him to skip his last scheduled start. He'll return to the mound on Sunday to face the Mets. But the Marlins don't want him running the bases and will use a designated hitter in his lineup spot.
Despite those uncertainties, Rodriguez would prefer the rotation remain as is. The Marlins are off on Monday, but Volstad will pitch in a minor-league game to keep the current sequence intact..
-- It's more of the usual today for Mike Stanton (quad) and Chris Coghlan (shoulder), the Marlins' two healing outfielders. Both will be starting in a minor league game, Stanton as a designated hitter and Coghlan in center. Rodriguez said Coghlan would play in another minor league game on Sunday. After that, a decision will be made whether to return him to the Grapefruit League action with the big-leaguers.
-- Rodriguez said he's looking for five innings today from Vazquez.
Marlins: 1. Dewayne Wise, cf; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Logan Morrison, lf; 5. Greg Dobbs, 1b; 6. Brad Davis, c; 7. Matt Dominguez, 3b; 8. Josh Kroeger, rf; 9. Javier Vazquez, p.
Cardinals: 1. Ryan Theriot, ss; 2. Colby Rasmus, cf; 3. Albert Pujols, 1b; 4. Matt Holliday, lf; 5. Matt Carpenter, 3b; 6. Yadier Molina, c; 7. Skip Schumaker, 2b; 8. Nick Stravinoha, rf; 9. Kyle Lohse, p.