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Marlins 25-man roster almost set; Furcal bound for the DL

JUPITER -- The 25-man roster heading south to Marlins Park for Opening Night is almost set.

The Marlins on Thursday morning informed seven players they won't be making the big league team and will be reassigned to the minors: infielders Donovan Solano, Juan Diaz and Austin Nola, outfielders Jake Marisnick and Matt Angle and right-handed relievers Henry Rodriguez and Chris Hatcher.

Manager Mike Redmond said second baseman Rafael Furcal will begin the season on the disabled list, leaving a spot for Derek Dietrich on the 25-man roster. Furcal, out since March 15th with a strained hamstring, is going to be given a few days off to rest before a final rehab plan is set.

Redmond said it is still undetermined if Dietrich will start at second base on Opening Night. It could be Jeff Baker.

The only other issues left to be resolved before Monday night's opener: who will be the team's other outfielder -- Brian Bogusevic or Marcell Ozuna -- and who will be the fifth starter, left-hander Brad Hand or right-hander Tom Koehler.

Redmond said the team is hopeful it can keep Rodriguez, a non-roster invitee, in the system. 

As for the open outfield job, that probably won't be decided until Sunday night, Redmond said.

Ozuna, who has minor league options left, is hitting .164 this spring with 18 strikeouts. Bogusevic, the player the Marlins acquired in the Justin Ruggiano trade with the Cubs, is out of options. He's hitting .174 with 10 strikeouts this spring.

Marisnick, reassigned to Triple A New Orleans along with Solano, was hitting .432 this spring with five doubles and four stolen bases.

"There's no doubt [Ozuna] hasn't had a great spring," Redmond said. "So that made the decision even tougher. We just felt like Jake needed to go down [to the minors] and continue to play. There's no doubt that this guy is the center fielder of the future for us. Jake has got a lot of weapons. He can do a lot. We just felt he needed to go down there and continue to get some more at-bats. So that day when he comes it's for good and he's out there every single day. That's it. 

"Bogusevic is out of options and so we've talked to him. We'll make our final decision on Sunday when we have to set the roster."

By giving Furcal a few days off, the Marlins will keep the 36-year old eligible to come off the disabled  six games into the regular season (April 6th). But Redmond made it clear the Marlins want Furcal to be right when he returns, so it may be longer especially since Furcal didn't get many at-bats.

"We know this guy is a gamer and a warrior and he wants to be out there," Redmond said. "At the same time too we need him for the long haul. We need him over the course of the season and we need to make sure we're doing the right thing for him and he's doing the right thing for himself and get him healthy and 100 percent so he can play five or six days in a row and not just one or two. That's the important thing for him." 

What do Thursday's move mean? The bullpen is pretty much set with closer Steve Cishek, setup man A.J. Ramos, long reliever Kevin Slowey, right-hander Carlos Marmol and left-handers Mike Dunn and Dan Jennings. Whomever loses the fifth starter's job --  Hand or Koehler -- will also make the team and serve as a long reliever. 

The bench is also set and will feature left-handed pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs, catcher Jeff Mathis, outfielder Reed Johnson and utility man Ed Lucas.

So why Lucas over Solano? "At the end it just comes down Ed Lucas is more versatile," Redmond said.

"He can play first, play the outfield. He's the emergency catcher if we need him. So he can just do a couple of other things. They both had great springs. Solano is a great young infielder that can do a lot of great things. The beauty of it is he's still in our system and still available to us if we need him down the road."

Redmond pointed to a few reasons why the hard-throwing Rodriguez didn't make the team.

"He's been banged up over the last couple of years, only pitched 25 innings the last couple of years," Redmond said. "I think he's a guy who we would love to be able to keep in the system and kind of pitch and get himself back into good throwing condition and get some innings with him. This guy has got an amazing arm. He's throwing 100 miles per hour.

"It's just the things we talked about -- having command. He just hasn't pitched that much for us. The role we see him in having so many young pitchers, we need guys down there that can throw multiple innings. We just don't feel right now he's able to do that. But I hope we're able to keep him in the system and build him up. You never know."

THURSDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (17-11-2): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Ed Lucas SS, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Garrett Jones 1B, 5. Jarrod Saltalmacchia C, 6. Derek Dietrich 2B, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Casey McGehee 3B, 9. Brad Hand LHP

> Cardinals (11-12-2): 1. Matt Carpeneter 3B, 2. Jhonny Peralta SS, 3. Matt Holliday LF, 4. Allen Craig RF, 5. Matt Adams 1B, 6. Tony Cruz C, 7. Kolten Wong 2B, 8. Peter Bourjos CF, 9. Michael Wacha RHP

Comments

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Stan M

Somehow, it must involve money. It always does with this team. There is no way in the world that Ozuna should make this team over Marisnick. Nor should Marmol for that matter. How many out there think that Marmol will be on this team throughout the year? I say he'll be gone by the AS game and it should be a lot sooner. This guy will cost us games, mark my words. I am glad that Lucas made the team, but I'd keep Solano over Dobbs, especially if they keep the LH hitting outfielder we got from the Cubs.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Morons. smh.

Flav C.

Stan,

Maybe I'm wrong here but when it comes to an organization they are usually thinking some months in advance. I mean, that's the logic I'm going to try to use here.

The clock started early for Ozuna last season. Because of the number of games he played in 2013, he will be arb eligible (or super 2) earlier than he should.

Furthermore, I don't think they Marlins organization sees Ozuna in their future plans. So they will go with Ozuna now and they will expect he plays relatively well so he can be bundled up with somebody else in a trade situation.

Had the Marlins started with Marisnick from the get-go, he probably would play enough games to start his clock as well. And what if he didn't produce? Send him back to AAA and bring back Ozuna?

Basically, I think the Marlins are trying to avoid the mistake they made with Ozuna by starting him early in 2013. By keeping Marisnick in AAA for more time means they avoid him from becoming Super 2 or arb eligible sooner than he should. And at the same time, build up value on Ozuna (hopefully) so, if needed, he can be a good trade chip later on.

Flav C.

Or maybe I'm just lost in baseball technicalities and not seeing the real reason Marisnick was sent down is what DT wrote.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

So essentially what you're saying, without using these words, is that it's about the money, as Stan was saying.

Being cheap is one thing ... knowingly not fielding the best team you have available is a whole other ball of wax.

And the way Ozuna is playing right now, they won't be able to give him away. He'd have a much better chance of regaining whatever stroke he has in Nawlins, THEN maybe they can get some value for him.

They simply chose not to field their best team PERIOD

Flav C.

DT,

That's basically it, what you wrote on your last sentence.

Lou Vales

I saw Ozuna a lot when he was at Greensboro and IF he was going to be somewhat good I should have been somewhat awed by what he demonstrated at that level. I never was. Yelich had the "It" factor right from the start not that I expect Ozuna to have the potential of Yelich but I never even saw "Everyday" guy.

DT and Flav you are both correct in your evaluations. I believe the league has already figured out Ozuna and hopefully Jake was just sent down to address a couple of holes in his approach.They MAY have thought Ozuna was tougher to absorb the rough stretches I see as inevitable.

I really think this team could surprise. Don't understand Solano being dispatched. Furcal will be done before this team is ready to contend so that is strange. I believe the Marlins still get verey early shot at any last minute cuts due to finish last year. Some pen help may be available.

Stan M

Flav, I agree with your assessment. Frankly, I've always thought of Ozuna as trade bait but right now he wouldn't bring back a bat boy. I think all of us are enthused about next year. Our major weakness will be either 1B or 2B depending on how Dietrich and Jones do. My hope is that the team makes up a bundle and acquires a decent hitter The difficulty as I see it is that the player will have to be young...read that as cheap for Loria to approve such a trade. I think Nicolino, Flynn, Ozuna, Solano, Realmuto, and Bradley are all expendable along with either Jones or Dietrich if the trade is made to replace one of them. I wonder if there is a big, strong RH hitter in this year's draft that the team can grab because it does have the second overall pick.

Dionysus Thelxinoe

So then Mike Hill is just a glorified secretary. I'm wondering if he makes a good cup of coffee.

Simmons

Samson likes Hill to serve it to him black & strong with alot of cream on the side.

Camera Mike

I'm going to have to agree with everyone here in that there is no reason outside of money for Ozuna to make the team in place of Marisnick. Hopefully Ozuna's lack of hitting doesn't cost us too many games by the time they do bring Marisnick up. Plus I fully agree with Stan that Marmol will cost us games. We all know runs will still be at a premium for this years Marlins and we simply cannot afford a pitcher who gives up more hits then a pitching machine like Marmol.

Delray

Marisnick's low strikeout rate this spring was key. He needs to be the everyday CF now.
Unlike others, I suppose, I think Dietrich has star potential. I think he will hit .270 and hit 20 hrs. in the bigs, which would be huge. Furcal has NO CHANCE of being anywhere near as valuable to the Marlin offense.
Agree completely that Carlos Marmol is a HUGE mistake. How many years of disasterous results does it take for execs to get the message?
I want Stanton gone sooner than later. His plate discipline is not improving and he doesn't make enough contact to hit third or fourth in the order. By trading him now, the team could get something in return ... like Baez or Bryant from the Cubs!
Bogusevic needs to go ... he's already disproven himself.

Delray

Continued notes:
The experiment of having G. Jones face lefties has to stop NOW. The whole point with him is milking production vs. RHP and AVOIDING all LHP. Baker needs the start at first against all LHP.
McGehee seems ready to hit this season ... the one addition to the team that may actually help.
The problem with Ozuna is that he didn't hit much in the Dominican League this winter either. However, if Marisnick can't be brought up for a few months, I'd rather have Ozuna on the team than Bogusevic.

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