Marlins ready for action to begin on Friday
Pitchers and catchers set to start workouts after club's busy offseason
MIAMI -- From the historic signing of Giancarlo Stanton in November to the recent announcement that Miami will host the 2017 All-Star Game, the Marlins have been one of the most talked about teams during the offseason.
It's time for the hype to end and the action to begin, as Spring Training opens on Friday. Pitchers and catchers will take the field around 1 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.
"I can't wait," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "As soon as the Super Bowl ended, it was baseball season. I'm just excited to get things going. I can't wait to get to Jupiter and start to put everything together that we put together this offseason. To see it live and in color."
Hill and general manager Dan Jennings certainly created plenty of excitement, assembling a roster the organization believes will challenge for a playoff spot.
The momentum began with the signing of Stanton to the richest deal in North American sports history -- 13 years, $325 million. Through trades and free agency, Miami also remodeled its everyday lineup, bringing in second baseman Dee Gordon, third baseman Martin Prado and first baseman Michael Morse. Ichiro Suzuki was signed as the fourth outfielder. Pitchers Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Aaron Crow, David Phelps and Andre Rienzo are newcomers who will fill rotation or bullpen spots.
The new faces augment an impressive group of core players like Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Alvarez and Steve Cishek. Jose Fernandez, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is slated to throw off the mound early in Spring Training but isn't expected to be ready until around midseason.
The overall depth, coupled with the promising talent, is there to reach the next level. The Marlins showed promise in 2014, going 77-85 despite significant injuries. They are talking playoffs this year.
"You want to see that team come together," Hill said. "We've added some new pieces. We feel like they are going to be great fits to what we're trying to build. This is when you come together as a team. We've upgraded our talent tremendously. Now, it's about us coming together as a team. As a team, we can do special things."
Pitchers and catchers report
Friday. First workouts begin around 1 p.m. ET.
Full squad reports
First Spring Training game
Florida International University vs. Marlins, March 2, 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium
Cardinals vs. Marlins, March 5, 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium (First Grapefruit League game)
Braves vs. Marlins at Marlins Park, April 6, 4:10 p.m. ET