JUPITER, Fla. -- The decision went down to the wire, but it also came as no surprise on Friday that Adam Conley was named the Marlins' fifth starter. Manager Don Mattingly made it official a few hours before the left-hander threw four shutout innings in a 7-1 win over the
JUPITER, Fla. -- The decision went down to the wire, but it also came as no surprise on Friday that Adam Conley was named the Marlins' fifth starter. Manager Don Mattingly made it official a few hours before the left-hander threw four shutout innings in a 7-1 win over the Tigers at Roger Dean Stadium.
Conley, who will make his first regular-season start on April 8 at the Mets, got the final nod over right-hander Jose Urena, who will make the club in a long-relief capacity.
In his final Spring Training appearance, Conley allowed one hit while striking out two and walking two, and his fastball, which had been in the 88-91 mph range most of spring, topped at 94 mph.
"Learned a lot this camp," Conley said. "It was kind of that progression coming on to the season. Obviously, you want to finish on a high note. For me, that's a good lineup with a lot of righties in it. Largely, I was able to do what I wanted to do. I commanded the fastball a lot better, commanded the changeup a lot better. Got ahead of guys, and that opens up the slider."
Conley was a fixture in the rotation in 2016, when he was 8-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 25 starts.
But in Spring Training, the 26-year-old struggled with consistency in his mechanics, and he endured some tough outings.
"We talked about his body of work," manager Don Mattingly said. "It's not a huge body of work, but it's been effective. When he's been healthy, and been out there, he's been effective."
Miami's rotation is now finalized, with Edinson Volquez going on Opening Day on Monday at the Nationals. Dan Straily and Tom Koehler will throw in the second and third games, respectively.
Wei-Yin Chen is the fourth starter, and he will get the call for the series opener at the Mets on April 7. Conley and Volquez will pitch the final two days in New York.
The Marlins' home opener is April 11, and Straily is lined up for that start.
Miami's rotation may lack a true ace, but each starter has shown durability. Conley is the youngest member of the group.
"I like everything about Adam, from the standpoint of his competitiveness, and he's not afraid of anything," Mattingly said. "He's going to go after people. He's looking to learn and get better. Those are the traits I like about Adam."
Urena is a hard-throwing right-hander who is out of options. He threw effectively in a Minor League game on Thursday, but he will be asked to come out of the bullpen beginning Monday.
In 2016, Urena split time at Triple-A New Orleans and Miami. With the Marlins, he was 4-9 with a 6.13 ERA in 28 games (12 starts).
"We've seen both sides with him," Mattingly said of Urena. "We've seen some really good outings, and then some outings that weren't as consistent. We think that consistency is there. He's a guy who has been showing us that he's really durable. He bounces back after starts. He's the best option for this [long-relief role]."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.