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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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