JUPITER - Manager Edwin Rodriguez said he hopes to settle on his third baseman by Monday and have the Opening Day roster determined by Wednesday when the Marlins break camp and head south.
Donnie Murphy is getting the start today at third, but Emilio Bonifacio remains in the mix, especially now that Chris Coghlan has returned to the lineup.
There are 31 players stil in camp, meaning that six must be cut to get down to the 25-man roster. Handicapping the field, those unlikely to stick include right-hander Jhan Marinez, catchers Brad Davis and John Baker, infielder Ozzie Martinez, outfielder Scott Cousins and one reliever, with Brian Sanches and Burke Badenhop pretty much fighting it out for the seventh spot in the pen.
Rodriguez said he prefers that bullpen role be given to a long man who can provide two or three innings on days when the starter is knocked out early. While Sanches has done some long work in the past, Badenhop appears to be better suited for that role. It wouldn't surprise me if the Marlins deal one of their surplus relievers (perhaps for an everyday third baseman?).
TODAY'S LINEUP: Rodriguez said it felt "weird" putting Coghlan, Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison on the same lineup card for the first time this spring. Today's lineup could very well be the one he sends out Friday for the season opener against the Mets.
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Mike Stanton, rf; 5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 6. Logan Morrison, lf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Donnie Murphy, 3b; 9. Chris Volstad, rhp.
Cardinals: 1. Ryan Theriot, ss; 2. Colby Rasmus, cf; 3. Albert Pujols, 1b; 4. Matt Holliday, lf; 5. Lance Berkman; 6. Skip Schumaker, 2b; 7. Yadier Molina, c; 8. Daniel Descalso, 3b; 9. Chris Carpenter, rhp.