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Notes: Grandy as leadoff, Rojas/Riddle battle

February 17, 2019

JUPITER, Fla. -- As a non-roster invitee, Curtis Granderson is in a position where he has to make the Marlins' Opening Day lineup. If he does, the veteran outfielder will be a leadoff option.The left-handed-hitting Granderson, who turns 38 on March 16, is expected to provide leadership on an inexperienced

JUPITER, Fla. -- As a non-roster invitee, Curtis Granderson is in a position where he has to make the Marlins' Opening Day lineup. If he does, the veteran outfielder will be a leadoff option.
The left-handed-hitting Granderson, who turns 38 on March 16, is expected to provide leadership on an inexperienced roster. He also may wind up being a table setter for an offense that doesn't have many other candidates to bat first.
"I think Curtis is a guy who has done that in the past," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday. "He's an on-base guy. He gives you good at-bats. I think when he's in the lineup, he could profile there, for sure."
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Granderson posted a .343 on-base percentage with 43 walks over 339 plate appearances while hitting in the No. 1 spot in 2018. He played most of the season for the Blue Jays before being dealt to the Brewers to join their postseason push in the final month.
Spring Training will give the Marlins the chance to tinker with the top of the order. A year ago, their No. 1 hitters combined for a .329 on-base percentage, which tied with the Rays for 16th in the Majors.
The question with Granderson is whether he even makes the team. Granderson is on a Minor League contract, and he combined for a slash line of .242/.351/.431 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs last year. He also drew 54 walks in 123 games.

At this point in his career, Granderson is not expected to play every day, and particularly against lefties.
Mattingly added a number of factors play into constructing the lineup, including analytics.
"We're probably still at that point where we don't have that true guy," Mattingly said. "It depends on how everything shakes out. Again, it's hard to sit here and think about lineups, and people ask you about lineups all the time. We've got a lot of guys competing for spots."

Settling shortstop
Over a long season, there will be plenty of playing time to go around. But a position that has two candidates for one spot is shortstop.
Miguel Rojas and JT Riddle, who bats left-handed, essentially split time at shortstop in 2018. But early on, when Riddle was on the injured list, Rojas received most of the work.
Rojas played in 153 total games, compiling a slash line of .252/.297/.346 with 11 homers and 53 RBIs. In 102 games, Riddle hit .231/.277/.377 with nine homers and 36 RBIs.

Mattingly said Riddle is capable of playing second base, and Mattingly hasn't ruled out keeping Rojas at short.
"Miggy continues to improve all the time," Mattingly said. "Miggy absolutely should be in the shortstop conversation and not be pigeon-holed into saying he's a utility guy. I think Miggy deserves that opportunity to compete for being an everyday guy."

Set for full-squad
Many position players have already been in camp, getting their work in the cages and on the field. But Monday marks the first official day of full-squad workouts.
Since camp opened last Wednesday, the pitchers have been throwing off the mound, along with working on bunting and defensive drills.
"I look at the first five days as important days to put a lot of things in for the pitchers timing-wise," Mattingly said. "All the fundamentals. Bunt plays, pick plays, all that kind of stuff. Pitchers have to get that timing first, and then our players have to learn their timing. The first five days are important, but then you start putting everything in. Reminders of the fundamental things, and trying to lay a good foundation down to play good baseball."

Up next
Monday marks the first day of full-squad workouts for the Marlins on the back fields at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex. Physicals are in the morning, with players on the field at 1 p.m. ET.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.