PORT ST. LUCIE -- Carlos Zambrano will make his Marlins debut this afternoon at Digital Domain Park against the Mets.
That leaves the Marlins with one starting pitcher in their rotation who has yet to make a start this spring -- Anibal Sanchez -- and it's still unclear when the 28-year old right-hander will do that.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said before Thursday's game against the Mets that Sanchez still has a ways to go before he pitches in a spring game and the team is in no rush to get him on the mound.
Sanchez experienced tightness in his throwing shoulder last Friday during a bullpen session. Sanchez threw off flat ground on Tuesday and told reporters afterward he expects to progress normally over the course of Spring Training.
"We're not going to put a guy out there just because. When he's ready to pitch, he'll pitch," Guillen said. "I don't think it's a big deal, but it could be a big deal if we don't handle it the right way. Right now, he's kind of sore. No matter how much you workout in the winter -- you don't throw a baseball -- you have to go through conditioning."
Guillen said Sanchez was expected to throw again Friday in Jupiter.
Sanchez was awarded $8 million in arbitration shortly before the start of spring training.
If he's unable to go at the start of the season, the Marlins could consider going with right-hander Alex Sanabia, left-hander Sean West, right-hander Tom Koehler or left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who will start in Sanchez's place Friday against the Nationals.
> The Marlins are expected to play their starting infield together for the first time this spring when they face Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg Friday night Roger Dean Stadium. They haven't been able to play together as of yet because of the number of split squad games the Marlins have played since Grapefruit League play began on Monday.
> Marlins: 1. Scott Cousins LF, 2. Donnie Murphy SS, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Austin Kearns DH, 5. Aaron Rowand RF, 6. Terry Tiffee 1B, 7. Luke Montz C, 8. Donovan Solano 2B, 9. Kevin Mattison CF. P Carlos Zambrano
> Mets: 1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF, 2. Justin Turner 3B, 3. Jason Bay LF, 4. Ike Davis DH, 5. Lucas May C, 6. Mike Baxter RF, 7. Adam Loewen 1B, 8. Ronny Cedeno 2B, 9. Omar Quintanilla. P Mike Pelfrey