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Ricky Nolasco Throws First Bullpen

    JUPITER -- Encouraging news for the Marlins and Ricky Nolasco on Tuesday when he threw his first bullpen of spring training and emerged giving a thumbs up with his right hand. That would be the same sore thumb that's kept him off the mound this spring -- until today.

     Nolasco said that if he remains on schedule, he'll make his first Grapefruit League start on March 13 and fall into his normal No. 2 slot in the rotation to make his first regular season start on April 2 against the Mets.

      "The more I throw the more it flexes it out of there," Nolasco said. "The doctor said it might linger for now, just listen to it, and I'm just going to try to pretty much pitch through it as much as I can until it goes away. And, by that time, the season should be starting and it should already be gone. That's the way I felt today, once I got loose and hot, I didn't feel anything at all."

      Nolasco wasn't scheduled to throw his first pen until Wednesday but said he decided Tuesday to move it up a day. He threw 55 pitches and used everything in his arsenal.

      The right-hander said he'll throw a couple of more bullpens, two live batting practices and a simulation game before facing the Nationals on March 13.