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Stanton and Dobbs sound optimistic for Opening NIght, Morrison less sure

    JUPITER -- Giancarlo Stanton and Greg Dobbs are sounding confident that they'll be in uniform Opening Night in Miami. Logan Morrison remains cautiously optimistic, but a bit less certain.

     Asked to put a percentage on the likelihood he'll be in the lineup next Wednesday when the Marlins open the season against the Cardinals, Morrison replied: "My heart says 100 percent and my mind doesn't know."

     All three Marlins will be playing in minor-league games today. Stanton said that if all goes well, he'll make the trip to Viera to play against the Nationals and pitcher Stephen Strasburg. All three hope to play in the exhibition games against the Yankees on Sunday on Monday.

      Morrison, who is dealing with soreness and swelling in his right knee -- the result of arthroscopic surgery in December -- took it as a good sign that there was no swelling in the knee when he woke up on Wednesday, one day after he played the field in a minor-league game.

     "The first time I played in Miami it was really sore the next day," Morrison said. "It didn't feel terrible yesterday. It felt all right. So I think there's improvement there."

     The question, Morrison said, is if the knee will feel the same "over seven or nine" straight days of playing. One motivating factor, he said: the opening of the new ballpark. He wants to be a part of that, not on the disabled list.

     "It would be pretty awesome to be in the starting lineup," Morrison said. "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't playing a big factor into it. If we were still at Sun Life, I don't know. Obviously, you want to be there no matter what. But it's pretty cool opening a new ballpark against the Cardinals, the World Series champions, and playing in front of a sold-out rowd. It's definitely a motivating factor. But I can't force it because it's 162 games, not one."


     Jose Ceda said it's all but certain he'll undergo Tommy John surgery next week. Ceda, who was bidding to win a bullpen spot on the Opening Day roster, said he was told he had a 50 percent tear of his ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Ceda, 25, said he could have tried to pitch through the injury this season but would have required ligament replacement surgery eventually.

     "It's really disappointing," Ceda said.

     Ceda said that in his last spring outing (March 22 against Atlanta), he felt discomfort in his elbow anytime he tried to throw a breaking ball. The next morning, Ceda said, he was unable to move the elbow at all and sought medical help.


      One day after shortstop Jose Reyes dyed his hair a rust color, third baseman Hanley Ramirez did the same.

      Asked if he would follow suit, second baseman Omar Infante replied: "No chance. I don't like. Too ugly."