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Rotation may not be entirely decided

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Nothing is official, but there don't appear to be any surprises on the horizon when it comes to how the Marlins' rotation is shaping up.

Barring injury, the front-runners for the starting five remain, in no specific order, Edinson Volquez, Wei-Yin Chen, Tom Koehler, Adam Conley and Dan Straily. But when asked if the fifth starter has been finalized, manager Don Mattingly was non-committal.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Nothing is official, but there don't appear to be any surprises on the horizon when it comes to how the Marlins' rotation is shaping up.

Barring injury, the front-runners for the starting five remain, in no specific order, Edinson Volquez, Wei-Yin Chen, Tom Koehler, Adam Conley and Dan Straily. But when asked if the fifth starter has been finalized, manager Don Mattingly was non-committal.

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"We've still got to continue to look," Mattingly said. "Guys have to keep competing. There are things that we've liked out of our starters, and there are certain things we haven't necessarily been thrilled with."

Right-hander Jose Urena and lefty Justin Nicolino are also in the mix. And Jeff Locke, who entered Spring Training as a candidate for the rotation or bullpen, is expected to open the season on the disabled list due to left biceps tendinitis.

The Marlins have repeatedly said that they plan on carrying five starters and eight relievers, and going with four position players on the bench.

Urena, who is out of options, could still win a starting spot, but he may wind up in long relief.

If Nicolino doesn't gain a rotation spot, he does have an option, and likely would open in Triple-A New Orleans' rotation.

David Phelps has started in the past, but Mattingly has made it clear the organization plans on using the right-hander out of the bullpen.

As for the Opening Day starter, Mattingly has yet to make an announcement, although he has hinted that Volquez is the most experienced.

Volquez is currently pitching for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, and he is scheduled to face Team USA on Saturday night at Marlins Park.

With Opening Day three weeks away, a number of starters are building up for the regular season. How they perform will factor into where in the rotation they fall.

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

Miami Marlins