JUPITER -- Losing a quality relief pitcher with major league experience to a season-ending injury on the final day of spring training can be a disastrous problem for some managers.
The Marlins, though, appear to be in good enough shape to survive the loss of Aaron Crow, manager Mike Redmond said Wednesday.
"The timing of injuries is never good because it doesn't matter when it is," Redmond said. "But you have to be able to adapt and adjust, and we feel like the depth we have now covers us."
Crow, obtained in a Nov. 28 trade with the Royals for pitchers Brian Flynn and Reid Redman, was fighting with Sam Dyson for the lone remaining vacancy in the Marlins bullpen. But on Sunday, a day after his last spring appearance, Crow said his elbow was very sore "and it was painful to throw."
Crow said he had an MRI performed Tuesday that revealed a tear and a doctor has recommended season-ending Tommy John surgery. Although Crow, set to make $1.975 million this season, will seek a second opinion, he doesn't expect the prognosis to change. The Marlins will still have club control over Crow (20-11, 3.43 ERA in 246 career appearances) in 2016 when he's expected to return.
In the meantime, Dyson, who went 3-1 with a 2.14 ERA in 31 appearances, is all but assured he'll be on the Opening Day roster. He's 2-1 with an 8.31 ERA in eight appearances this spring.
The Marlins also have a couple of other relievers down in Triple A with big league experience including hard-throwing Carter Capps (3-3, 4.83 ERA in 88 appearances from 2012-14) and former Yankee Preston Claiborne (3-2, 3.79 ERA in 66 appearances from 2013-14).
"Officially our roster won't be set until Sunday, but we're getting close," Redmond said. "We still have a couple things to finalize on the pitching side. We should know that more in the next couple days."
> Redmond said he's anticipating the Marlins starting rotation staying in the current order it is in -- with Henderson Alvarez starting on Opening Day and Jarred Cosart, Mat Latos, Tom Koehler and Dan Haren following.
Cosart is pitching today against the visiting Nationals in the final Grapefruit League game of the spring. Koehler and Haren are lined up to pitch Friday and Saturday when the Marlins play against minor league affiliates in Greensboro and Jacksonville.
"Today with Cosart throwing it's another big step, making sure his [blistered middle] finger gets through the grind of a game healthy," Redmond said. "I'm anticipating if everything stays fine with him this [order in the rotation] pretty much is what it is. But we'll know more after he goes out and pitches. I'm anticipating him being fine."
Redmond said Marlins regulars will probably only get an at-bat or two before being pulled for backups in Friday and Saturday's games. Koehler and Haren, though, will throw between 85 and 90 pitches to prepare themselves for the start of the season.
> Redmond said the Marlins will give first baseman Mike Morse, who has a history of injuries, days off throughout the season to make sure he stays healthy for the duration.
"That's definitely something we'll monitor with him -- his health," Redmond said. "Will there maybe be some extra days off for him? We'll see and monitor that as he goes. Really the important thing for him is to keep him on the field. He knows that and we know that. But the beauty of our bench is we have options. We have [Jeff Baker]. We have Don Kelly. We can play them if [Morse] needs a blow. Martin Prado too. These guys, they want to play every single day. But at the same time too we need to be smart because we need them for the whole season. Keeping these guys together, healthy and strong is important as well."