JUPITER -- Odds are the best young outfield in baseball isn't going to be getting any days off, but in case Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna or Christian Yelich need a breather the Marlins won't feel weird about plugging 41-year-old Ichiro Suzuki in at any of their respective positions.
Ichiro, who has played the bulk of his career in right field (1,824 games), was slated to start in center Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium as Ozuna received a break. Last season, Ichiro made only two starts in center for the Yankees compared to 86 in right and six in left. In all, he's made just 15 starts in center over the last three years.
But manager Mike Redmond said he has no problem putting him there this year.
"He can play everywhere," Redmond said Saturday. "Yelich can play center too, but I like Yelich playing left. So, Ichiro could play center field. I know he can play anywhere. I don't know how many games he'll play in each position, but I feel comfortable with Ichiro playing anywhere."
> Even though all signs point to right-hander and 2014 All-Star Henderson Alvarez being the Marlins' Opening Day starter (he's lined up to pitch there based on the rest of the spring schedule), Redmond still isn't ready to officially name him that guy.
Asked if Alvarez deserves to be the Opening Day starter, Redmond said: "This guy had a great year last year and I know everybody wants to know 'Whose your number one starter?' For me, a number one starter is a guy that goes out there and gives you the best chance to win. And he was definitely that guy last year that went out there every five days and we felt like we had a chance to win on that day. That's what a number one or top of the order type pitcher does. And he was definitely able to do that.'"
Alvarez made his spring debut Saturday against the visiting Mets.
MLBPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TONY CLARK VISITS CAMP
Baseball's new rules to speed up the game has been the big topic in 2015, but Tony Clark, the executive director for the players association, said Saturday he doesn't expect it to have an adverse affect on the action.
"You're not going to see umpires pointing and writing down notes -- that's not what's going to happen," Clark said. "There will be somebody who is not on the field that will be responsible for acknowledging when or if there are violations. At the end of the day the player will be given that information and then he can decide whether he wants to appeal it, not appeal it. That all happens from the game. But in the game itself the idea that we are going to disrupt the game and or create confrontations between players and umpires is not beneficial to anyone. That's why making sure that the understanding between all the parties -- players, MLB and the umpires -- is one that helps move us forward and doesn't take us backward as a result of trying to find a few minutes at the end of the game."
Clark said pitchers and hitters won't be penalized on the field with a ball or strike for taking too much time. Instead, warnings or fines will be given. Baseball's new rules require teams to be ready to go as soon as commercial breaks end (estimated 2 minutes, 25 seconds) and for batters to keep at least one foot in the box when they take a pitch.
"All you try to do [as player] is slow the game down, take your time to execute your game plan," Clark said. "Whether you are a hitter or a pitcher -- when the crowd is screaming and yelling with the game on the line -- I don't anybody is going to be concerned with the hitter or pitcher to take a little extra time to execute what he wants to execute. At the end of the year if we can find a few extra minutes, fantastic. But the fans come to the ballpark to see the players play and if at the end of the day the players can't perform up to their ability because they're thinking about a lot of extra stuff or people are pointing at them or whatever, that's a problem and that's not what the intention is of what was done here [with the new rules]."
> Clark said he's happy new baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is pushing to market the game's marquee players toward youth.
"This is something we've talked about for years," Clark said. "I have a 12-year-old son who absolutely loves Stanton, but the idea every time he turns of the TV he's seeing guys from other sports -- that I hope we can change."
Despite being one of the brightest young stars in the game (MLB ranked him the fourth best player in the game regardless of position recently) and the runner-up in the NL MVP race, Stanton wasn't among the top 20 jerseys sold in the game last year.
> Marlins (1-1): 1. Dee Gordon 2B, 2. Christian Yelich LF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Martin Prado 3B, 5. Jeff Baker 1B, 6. Ichiro Suzuki CF, 7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 8. Reed Johnson DH, 9. Miguel Rojas SS. RHP Henderson Alvarez.
> Mets (2-1): 1. Juan Lagares CF, 2. Curtis Granderson RF, 3. Michael Cuddyer LF, 4. Brandon Allen 1B, 5. Eric Campbell 3B, 6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis DH, 7. Ruben Tejada 2B, 8. Johnny Monell C, 9. Matt Reynolds SS. LHP Steven Matz.