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12 Marlins make first Opening Day roster

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- After some creative roster shuffling, the Marlins officially set their 25-man roster on Thursday morning. Due to some injuries late in Spring Training, plans had to change before setting the roster that opened against the Cubs at Marlins Park.

All MLB rosters had to be set by 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, and Miami waited until pretty close to the deadline, finalizing details at 9 a.m. The last-minute moves included placing right-hander Brett Graves (left oblique) on the 60-day disabled list and designating catcher Austin Nola for assignment.

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MIAMI -- After some creative roster shuffling, the Marlins officially set their 25-man roster on Thursday morning. Due to some injuries late in Spring Training, plans had to change before setting the roster that opened against the Cubs at Marlins Park.

All MLB rosters had to be set by 11:30 a.m. ET on Thursday, and Miami waited until pretty close to the deadline, finalizing details at 9 a.m. The last-minute moves included placing right-hander Brett Graves (left oblique) on the 60-day disabled list and designating catcher Austin Nola for assignment.

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The new-look Marlins will have 12 players experiencing Opening Day for the first time.

"The maturation process is part of our older veterans, too," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Guys that have been there, you're going to ask these guys to be part of our maturation process. That's probably the greatest feeling for a manager and a coach is to help guys develop, and bring that along. When you see guys mature, it's really fun to watch."

Center fielder Lewis Brinson, the Marlins' No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will lead off in the first game. A native of Coral Springs, Fla., Brinson will be celebrating his first Opening Day.

Video: MIA@WSH: Brinson rips a homer to lead off the game

"It will definitely sink in once that first pitch is thrown," Brinson said. "Luckily, it's a day game, so I don't have too much time to get nervous or excited or anything. Just wake up, get to the field and start playing."

Along with Brinson, Jarlin Garcia, Tayron Guerrero, Chris O'Grady, Dillon Peters, Caleb Smith, Drew Steckenrider, Chad Wallach, Tomas Telis, Garrett Cooper, Brian Anderson and Braxton Lee will be on an Opening Day roster for the first time.

"It's extremely exciting," said Anderson, who will start at third base. "It's everything that you've worked for growing up. It's a big personal goal to make an Opening Day roster. From here on out, it's just continuing to work and continuing to get better and just be as consistent as possible.

The Game 1 batting order was: Brinson (CF), Derek Dietrich (LF), Starlin Castro (2B), Justin Bour (1B), Anderson (3B), Cooper (RF), Miguel Rojas (SS), Chad Wallach (C) and Jose Urena (P).

The Marlins are carrying three catchers among 13 position players, plus 12 pitchers.

With catcher J.T. Realmuto (low back contusion) starting off on the disabled list, the Marlins are going with extra depth behind the plate. Wallach got the Game 1 start.

"We didn't necessarily plan on going with three catchers," Mattingly said. "If you had J.T., you're not necessarily planning on going with three catchers. When he's catching 130-140 games, you're not planning on three catchers, he's getting the lion's share of the playing time. You're wanting the other guy to be a true backup."

The rotation, for now, has just four starters -- Urena, Smith, Odrisamer Despaigne and Peters.

The fifth-starter spot remains unclear. Garcia and Jacob Turner are spot-starter candidates who will be used in long relief. Neither is believed to be a front-runner to start the fifth game. An additional roster move could be made by then.

Opening 25

Starting pitchers
Urena, Smith, Despaigne, Peters

Relievers
Zielger (closer), Kyle Barraclough, Steckenrider, Junichi Tazawa, Guerrero, Turner, O'Grady, Garcia

Catchers
Telis, Wallach, Bryan Holaday

Infielders
Bour, Castro, Rojas, Anderson, Yadiel Rivera

Outfielders
Dietrich, Brinson, Cameron Maybin, Cooper, Lee

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

Miami Marlins