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Locke unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins are preparing to be without Jeff Locke on Opening Day, but the club is hopeful that the left-hander won't miss too much of April.

Locke has been dealing with left biceps tendinitis since early in Spring Training, and he is currently building up in his throwing program.

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins are preparing to be without Jeff Locke on Opening Day, but the club is hopeful that the left-hander won't miss too much of April.

Locke has been dealing with left biceps tendinitis since early in Spring Training, and he is currently building up in his throwing program.

"Honestly, I don't think we see him as a guy being ready to open the season," manager Don Mattingly said. "It may be close. It may be 10 days, it may be two weeks. I want him to be healthy and keep growing. We've got to make sure he's healthy first, built up properly without rushing."

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Formerly with the Pirates, Locke entered camp competing for a rotation or a long-relief spot.

"I look at him being a very important piece for us," Mattingly said. "I'd rather miss him for a week, 10 days or two weeks, than I would for two months."

First wave of cuts

The first wave of roster moves was made on Friday, as eight players were trimmed from big league camp. Right-hander Jake Esch, who is rated as Miami's 12th-best prospect by MLBPipeline.com, was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

Video: Top Prospects: Jake Esch, RHP, Marlins

Reassigned to Minor League camp were right-handers Juan Benitez and Matt Tomshaw; left-handers Nick Maronde and Caleb Thielbar; and catchers Chris Hoo, Cam Maron and Rodrigo Vigil.

Of the eight, Esch is the only one on Miami's 40-man roster, and he was the only one to have played for the organization at the big league level in 2016.

"We'd just run out of innings for the guys we were able to see," Mattingly said. "Out of the pitchers, Jacob was one of the guys sent out earlier, but we still felt like he needed the innings to get ready. We didn't really have them. We were wanting to look at some other guys, so we felt like it was best for him to get them down at the Minor Leagues."

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

Miami Marlins, Jeff Locke