MIAMI -- Opening Day is here, and so is the Marlins' 26-man roster.
Catcher (2): Jacob Stallings, Nick Fortes
The only backstops on the 40-man roster, Stallings and Fortes were splitting duties behind the dish by the end of the 2022 season. Stallings caught every pitch thrown by ace Sandy Alcantara during his National League Cy Young Award-winning campaign, while Fortes linked up with his former Triple-A teammates. Manager Skip Schumaker said it won't be a 50/50 split, but both are "going to play a lot of games."
First baseman (1): Garrett Cooper
The first-base job is Cooper's after sharing reps with Jesús Aguilar from 2020-22. Named a '22 All-Star as a designated hitter, Cooper went from a .783 OPS in the first half of the season to a .681 OPS in the second half. Miami signed veteran Yuli Gurriel to a Minor League deal as a backup option for Cooper, who hasn't appeared at first base more than 73 times in a season, and he made the Opening Day roster.
Second baseman (1): Luis Arraez
All-Star second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. volunteering to move to center field paved the way for Miami's acquisition of the 2022 American League batting champion. Arraez, who competed in the World Baseball Classic for Venezuela, got extra work in before he departed. The Marlins don't want Chisholm bouncing around on defense, so Gurriel and utility player Jon Berti are backup options.
Shortstop (1): Joey Wendle
With the departure of Miguel Rojas, the Marlins will have a new primary shortstop for the first time since 2017. Wendle recorded six defensive runs saved there in '22, but he has never been the everyday guy. Though Miami signed slick-fielding veteran José Iglesias to a Minor League deal, he did not make the Opening Day roster. Berti will be the backup, especially against tough lefties. Schumaker said Berti would "play some shortstop, maybe more than he did last year [10 games]."
Third baseman (1): Jean Segura
Segura has appeared at third base just 24 times -- all in 2020. Like Arraez, he got in extra work before departing for the World Baseball Classic. Berti and Gurriel are the backup options.
Outfielders (3): Jazz Chisholm Jr., Avisaíl García, Bryan De La Cruz
Spring Training was full of lessons for Chisholm, whose athleticism has been on display in center field as he plays the position for the first time. García needs a bounceback campaign (65 OPS+) in the middle of the order. While Jorge Soler is expected to see most of his time as designated hitter, he can also play the corner-outfield spots. Schumaker doesn't see the right-handed-hitting De La Cruz and left-handed-hitting Jesús Sánchez as a straight platoon "just yet," but he anticipates both getting at-bats, with the former receiving the bulk of the reps early on.
Designated hitter (1): Jorge Soler
Soler was on pace for a 30-homer season until playing his last game on July 22 due to recurring back problems. Miami also intends to use the DH spot to spell regulars.
Bench/Utility (3): Jon Berti, Yuli Gurriel, Jesús Sánchez
Berti is the super-utility player and reigning MLB stolen-base champion. Gurriel was the 2021 AL batting champion and Gold Glove winner at first base. Schumaker intends to use him as a veteran bat off the bench, in particular against high-leverage arms, and to give Cooper days off. Sánchez is primarily a corner outfielder.
Starting pitchers (5): Sandy Alcantara, Jesús Luzardo, Edward Cabrera, Trevor Rogers, Johnny Cueto
The Marlins will roll with a traditional five-man rotation after floating the idea of a six-man starting staff. Alcantara is the Opening Day starter, and Miami elected to split up its lefties (Luzardo and Rogers). With Cueto a little behind because of the World Baseball Classic, the Marlins were able to get him extra rest by slotting him in as the No. 5 starter.
Relief pitchers (8): A.J. Puk, Tanner Scott, Dylan Floro, Matt Barnes, JT Chargois, Huascar Brazoban, Andrew Nardi, Braxton Garrett
Since Miami is going with a five-man rotation, the odd man out (Garrett) will serve as the long reliever. Steven Okert is dealing with an adductor issue, which opened a spot for one of the spring standouts: Nardi. When asked who might be among the options in a save situation, Schumaker listed Puk, Scott and Floro depending on what part of the lineup is due up.