Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Smith, Despaigne fill out top of Marlins' rotation

Southpaw to start second game vs. Cubs; righty slated as No. 3
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- All but one Marlins' rotation has been set.

After allowing two runs and striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings in Tuesday's in a 22-2 win over the University of Miami, Dillon Peters was named the Marlins' No. 4 starter, and he will pitch the series finale with the Cubs on Sunday at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

MIAMI -- All but one Marlins' rotation has been set.

After allowing two runs and striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings in Tuesday's in a 22-2 win over the University of Miami, Dillon Peters was named the Marlins' No. 4 starter, and he will pitch the series finale with the Cubs on Sunday at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Earlier on Tuesday, the Marlins announced left-hander Caleb Smith will pitch Game 2 on Friday, and right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne will throw on Saturday.

Miami opens on Thursday at 12:40 p.m. ET against the Cubs at Marlins Park, with right-hander Jose Urena getting the nod. Jon Lester is Chicago's starter for the first of the four-game series.

All teams must set their 25-man roster by 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday. Miami has yet to announce who will pitch in the fifth game on Monday against the Red Sox. Trevor Richards, who isn't on the 40-man roster, is a candidate. And left-hander Jarlin Garcia will open the season with Miami, but that he may be in the rotation at this point.

"The fact that he's throwing strikes and getting his curveball over," Mattingly said of Peters. "He had the same type of outing in the Minor Leagues. In his last time out, he didn't walk anybody. So, I think he's pretty confident that he's kind of back on top of the command thing."

Although the Marlins will give the Cubs a right-left-right look in the first series, Mattingly noted that was more by coincidence. The team has been looking at upcoming off-days and how they wanted to line up their rotation for after they return from their first road trip, which is from April 6-8 at Philadelphia.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"That determined what we did, rather than the left-right thing," Mattingly said.

The fact that Richards, who isn't on the 40-man roster, was asked to be with Miami instead of remaining with Triple-A New Orleans may be a sign he will be in the rotation.

In Tuesday's lopsided win, Smith threw two-thirds of an inning, getting a strikeout on eight pitches of relief. He got a chance to become familiar with the mound at Marlins Park before going on Friday.

The Marlins acquired Smith from the Yankees in a Minor League trade last November. Also in the deal was first baseman/outfielder Garrett Cooper, who has made Miami's Opening Day roster.

With New York last year, Smith threw 18 2/3 innings and had a 7.71 ERA in 17 games with two starts. But at Triple-A, as a starter, he had a 2.39 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 100 2/3 innings.

"Caleb has been an interesting guy from the standpoint, we've liked what we saw coming over from the Yankees," Mattingly said. "He's a powerful-body guy. We like his stuff. He's left-handed. We think he's ready to pitch here. He's proven himself at the Triple-A level."

Smith's fastball in Spring Training reached 95 mph.

Video: HOU@MIA: Despaigne gets Altuve to go down looking

Despaigne, 30, is the most versatile pitcher on the roster. He's been used in multiple roles, and he will open as the No. 3 starter.

"He's a guy I think is really flexible for us, and we look at him in multiple roles," Mattingly said. "He's been a starter, spot starter, long guy, could go short out there also. We think he has the stuff to do that because he throws strikes, and he can hold runners."

The Marlins have a number of young starters coming up through the system they do not want to rush, including Sandy Alcantara.

Acquired from the Cardinals in the Marcell Ozuna trade, Alcantara is Miami's No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. While he throws 98-100 mph, the Marlins felt he still needs more seasoning at Triple-A New Orleans.

Even with Dan Straily opening on the season on the disabled list, Miami wasn't tempted to speed up Alcantara's development.

"When we sent Sandy out, we felt like we were pretty confident that he needed to continue to develop," Mattingly said. "That's one of the things we talked about in the winter. We don't want to rush our guys to the big leagues. He was one of those guys, obviously, who was at the top of that list, because of how good we think he can be.

"We don't really think this is the best place for him to keep developing. Obviously, we hope that's quickly. We hope he gets down there, gets rolling and the guys are saying, 'Hey, he's ready.'"

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

Miami Marlins