JUPITER -- A handful of Marlins on the 40-man roster now are out of options, meaning they can't be assigned to the minors without first clearing waivers. The ones most worthy of attention are outfielders Gorkys Hernandez and Justin Ruggiano, along with left-handed pitchers Wade LeBlanc and Mike Dunn.
(Outfielder Chris Coghlan, believe it or not, still has one option year remaining.)
It's a factor worth noting not only as roster decisions are being made during spring training, but also after the season starts.
-- Catcher Craig Tatum, a 29-year-old non-roster invitee, informed the Marlins he was retiring. The spring roster now stands at 73 players.
-- It's been weeks since the Marlins heard from former Dolphins quarterback Pat White, an indication he might not accept their invitation to minor-league camp, which starts soon. White was a standout in high school but -- save for four at bats in an instructional league contest -- has not played in an organized game since.
JUPITER -- It was only two months ago that Ricky Nolasco sent word through his agent that, in the aftermath of the Marlins' roster purge, he wished to be traded. But Nolasco didn't go anywhere and is no longer discussing the matter.
"I'm moving forward," Nolasco said this morning. "Anything that's happened in the past isn't going to be talked about anymore."
The Marlins have no intention of trading Nolasco now. But given that Nolasco is making $11.5 million this season and is in the final year of his contract, he's a prime candidate to be moved before the July 31 trade deadline. And because Nolasco is pitching for his next contract, you can be certain he'll be giving it his all for the Marlins even if he would prefer to be somewhere else.
"This is a big year," Nolasco acknowledged. "Obviously, every year is a big year. But this is a big year."
It's all but official that the Marlins' all-time wins leader will take the mound for them on Opening Day in Washington, facing Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals. But don't count on him being around in September for the season finale.
Juan Pierre was aghast when Rob Brantly couldn't remember the name of the pitcher he collected his first major league hit against. After all, it was only last August when it happened. What player doesn't remember the details -- pitcher, ballpark, date, etc. -- from his first hit?
Well, Brantly is the odd bird who didn't, and Pierre sent him home Monday with a "homework assignment": identifying the pitcher. Brantly did his homework, showing up Tuesday with the pitcher's name: Rockies hurler Adam Ottavino.