JUPITER -- Fans who showed up to Roger Dean Stadium Thursday to watch the Red Sox likely needed a team media guide to figure out who was on the field for the defending World Series champions.
Only one Red Sox player who started Thursday -- center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. -- is expected to be in the Opening Day starting lineup. Red Sox beat writers said the rest of the players shipped over from Fort Myers to face the Marlins weren't even expected to make the 25-man roster.
President of Baseball Operations Mike Hill said the Marlins received an email from Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington apologizing about the travel roster Boston sent over.
Major League Baseball requires that teams send at least four players on the road during the spring who are either starters from the year before, platoon players or guys who have a chance to be starters. In this case, it's obvious that's not what happened.
Although there was a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel Thursday the Marlins were "outraged" and complained to league officials about the team Boston sent over, Hill said that wasn't the case.
"The league watches, they monitor all of our lineups," Hill said. "So if there was an issue they'll deal directly with the Red Sox. There's no mechanism, no grievance [process]."
Were the Marlins outraged? "That's a little strong," Hill said.
"We got an email from their GM saying they had some injuries and were working on some things. He apologized. So I don't know if that meant he got a call from the league or what."
Hill said the Marlins received a notice "either last year or the year before" from the league about travel roster they shipped to Port St. Lucie to face the Mets.
What are the typical penalties for breaking this roster rule? "Discipline up to a fine," Hill said.
For what it's worth, the managers and players really don't care about what travel roster is sent over to face them. They just want to get their work in. But it's obvious the fans who pay for seats don't want to see a cast of nobodies. It's a common problem during spring training and that's why the travel roster rule is in place.
> So what does Hill think of his team a week into Grapefruit League play?
"So far our pitching has been very strong as we expect it to be," Hill said. "Offensively, seeing some good things. Some guys are still working on some things. But they seem to be getting closer. I like the overall depth of our lineups and the way we're playing the game. We're running the bases aggressively, which has been outstanding to see. The defense is a little bit of a weird one because they haven't been tough plays. They've been weird plays. Just teaching opportunities for our guys. I know our defense is going to be a strength for us. Just getting ready. Positive air. Guys feel good about where we are and looking forward to getting it going."
> Marlins (5-2): 1. Matt Angle LF, 2. Christian Yelich CF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Garrett Jones 1B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia DH, 6. Jeff Baker 3B, 7. Jeff Mathis C, 8. Donovan Solano 2B, 9. Adeiny Hechavarria SS. RHP Henderson Alvarez
> Cardinals (2-3): 1. Matt Carpenter 3B, 2. Mark Ellis 2B, 3. Allen Craig RF, 4. Matt Adams 1B, 5. Yadier Molina C, 6. Shane Robinson CF, 7. Joey Butler DH, 8. James Ramsey LF, 9. Pete Kozma SS. RHP Adam Wainwright.