JUPITER, Fla. -- In their third round of cuts this spring, the Marlins on Monday optioned first-base prospect Lewin Díaz (No. 6) and outfielder Monte Harrison (No. 16) to Triple-A Jacksonville and right-hander Jordan Holloway (No. 24) to Double-A Pensacola. The club also reassigned lefty Jake Fishman, righty Zach Thompson, catcher Brian Navarreto and infielder Demetrius Sims.
With Grapefruit League play winding down and less playing time to go around, the club whittled down its numbers in camp. Jesús Aguilar and Garrett Cooper are entrenched at first base, while Corey Dickerson, Starling Marte and Adam Duvall are the projected Opening Day outfielders. Outfielders Magneuris Sierra, who is out of options, and Lewis Brinson are vying for bench spots.
Díaz, Harrison and Holloway each debuted in 2020, when the Marlins used 61 players in part due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Before their callups, Díaz had never played above Double-A and Harrison had 56 games at Triple-A. Holloway, who made the Opening Day expanded roster out of the bullpen, skipped both levels.
This spring, Díaz went 5-for-22 with a .346 on-base percentage in 16 contests. Harrison cut down his strikeouts in 19 at-bats, fanning just five times and adding four walks. In 32 MLB games, he posted a 51 percent K rate. Holloway got a late start, pitching in just one spring outing.
"Happy with Monte," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think he's put a lot of work in on his swing. It's one of the things we've talked about: shorten his route. He's got to be able to put it in play. Feel like he did some good things. And now, you didn't feel like he was one of the guys that was going to benefit by being in the big leagues right now. [He needs to] continue his development.
"Lewin's another guy [we're] happy with. I feel like he's shrunk his strike zone a little bit. He looks like he's just getting better and better. I think he's going to keep progressing. This guy's not far away, just little pieces for his game to keep coming together. And that's just a little bit of time and experience."
• Edward Cabrera (inflamed nerve in right biceps) continues to rehab but has not begun throwing. There's no need to rush MLB Pipeline's No. 68 overall prospect because the Triple-A season doesn't begin until May 4. Entering Spring Training, the 22-year-old right-hander was in the mix for a spot in the Major League rotation. Cabrera likely would've debuted in 2020 had it not been for a minor arm issue.
• Jorge Guzman (right elbow inflammation) initiated a program last week of 25 throws at 60 feet. The 25-year-old righty, who had previously been ranked among Miami's top prospects, made one appearance out of the bullpen in the big leagues last season. Before then, he had 25 outings (24 starts) at the Double-A level in 2019.
• Jesús Sánchez (right groin strain) began a running progression and baseball activities last week, with light sprints and tee work. Miami's eighth-ranked prospect went 1-for-8 in parts of six Grapefruit League games before being sidelined by the injury. The 23-year-old outfielder, who played in 10 MLB games in 2020, has just 35 appearances at the Triple-A level.
• Peyton Burdick (Miami's No. 14) belted a pinch-hit solo homer to right field against Cardinals Opening Day starter Jack Flaherty for his first Grapefruit League hit.
• Connor Scott (No. 18) knocked a two-run triple in the eighth.
• Víctor Víctor Mesa collected his first hit of the spring -- an RBI single to right -- later in the eighth.
"It's just nice, because you've been putting all this work in trying to pound the rust off and get back to like who you are and just to put all those swings and hours in the cage and stuff," Burdick said during a Zoom call. "And to finally get back to where you are gives you a good sense of pride, for sure."
Back to back
Late-inning relievers Anthony Bass and Yimi García pitched on consecutive days for the first time this spring, with each working a scoreless frame on Monday. Lefty Richard Bleier appeared in last Thursday's Grapefruit League contest against the Cardinals as well as an intrasquad game on Friday. It’s one of their last benchmarks to achieve before Opening Day on April 1.
"That's important to get those in, because I'm going to be asked to do that quite a bit this year," Bass said. "So to go out there and put up another zero and another clean inning is always a good step going into the season, so I felt pretty good today."
Daniel Castano will make his first Grapefruit League appearance in 11 days when he starts at 1:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday against the Mets at Clover Park. Pablo López, Miami's No. 2 starter, will pitch a "B" game on a back field to avoid facing the National League East rivals for a third time this spring.