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Ruggiano to make first spring appearance

Entering camp as the leading candidate for the center field job, Justin Ruggiano has been sitting out with a strained lower back. He's in the line up for the first time on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium, batting sixth.

He's been progressively upping his activity level in anticipation of returning to play.

Even with an impressive consistency in 2012 with the Marlins, nothing is guaranteed. The 30-year-old is going to see competition in all directions, including from Chris Coghlan, who started center against the Mets in Port St. Lucie on Thursday, and Gorkys Hernandez, who is out of options.


Saturday marks a split-squad affair, with a bus of Marlins headed to Viera to take on the Washington Nationals.

Here is the look of the contingency staying at Roger Dean for the 1:05 p.m start:

7 Juan Pierre

4 Donovan Solano

2 Rob Brantly

DH Austin Kearns

3 Casey Kotchman

8 Justin Ruggiano

5 Kevin Kouzmanoff

6 Adeiny Hechavarria

9 Bryan Peterson

Starting: RHP Jacob Turner


-Steph Rogers


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Eddie S

It is so unfair that Marlin Managemnt feels that Coughlin is the best center fielder so far. Batting 250 in 24 at bats with only 1 extra bae hit does not say much about a position we need power from. LET'S HOPE MARLIN MANAGEMENT GIVE 40 AT BATS TO RUGGIANO AND SEE A MUCH BETTER RESULT. THE MARLINS DESPAERATELY NEED HOMERUN POWER AND I'M SURE RUGGIANO CAN SUPPLY IT GIVE HIM A CHANCE BEFORE YOU REACH CONCLUSIONS ON A 3 YEAR FAILURE OF COUGHLIN!!!!!

Dionysus Thelxinoe

It's a long season, bub. There'll be plenty of opportunity for Ruggiano, certainly more than those 40 ABs you're carping about. The MAAArlins have much bigger problems than who's in center.

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