Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Marlins still tinkering with rotation order

Brinson exits after being hit with throw; Riddle, Realmuto hoping to return by Opening Day
Special to MLB.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Exactly one week before Opening Day, manager Don Mattingly still isn't ready to write his starting rotation in stone, although he has hammer and chisel at the ready.

"We've got a good idea," Mattingly said prior to Thursday's 15-7 win over the Astros, in which scheduled starter Jacob Turner -- a candidate for the starting rotation -- was scratched with flu-like symptoms. "Obviously, anything could change with an injury. Few moving parts, because of a few different things that are going on with the flu and this or that, but we're pretty much where we want to be."

View Full Game Coverage

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Exactly one week before Opening Day, manager Don Mattingly still isn't ready to write his starting rotation in stone, although he has hammer and chisel at the ready.

"We've got a good idea," Mattingly said prior to Thursday's 15-7 win over the Astros, in which scheduled starter Jacob Turner -- a candidate for the starting rotation -- was scratched with flu-like symptoms. "Obviously, anything could change with an injury. Few moving parts, because of a few different things that are going on with the flu and this or that, but we're pretty much where we want to be."

View Full Game Coverage

Jose Urena will be the Marlins' Opening Day starter. That's been announced. But after that, it could get interesting. Dan Straily is supposed to get the ball for Game 2 of the 2018 season, but he's battling inflammation in his right forearm.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

"He's on his no-throw [schedule]. He's doing everything but throwing a baseball right now," Mattingly said. "So he's good to do everything but pick up a baseball. So he's on his schedule."

That schedule involved no throwing through the weekend, and it leaves the Marlins' rotation still somewhat up in the air.

"It's not really one of those [situations] that you know exactly who your guys are and if there's an injury, then you have something to change," Mattingly said. "This one is still pretty fluid from the standpoint of anything could happen. But we have a pretty good idea of how we want to run our first couple of weeks [of the season]."

Video: Mattingly on Riddle's first game action since July

Riddle still targeting an Opening Day return

Shortstop JT Riddle was hoping to make his spring debut on Wednesday. That didn't happen, as he was scratched with soreness in his surgically repaired right shoulder.

Riddle worked out on Thursday, and Mattingly said he would go from there based on those results.

"The biggest thing yesterday, he had trouble getting loose," Mattingly said. "So today we'll find out what happens in this part of the workout, and then we'll decide what to do."

Riddle said the workout went fine and that he feels "all right." He hasn't played in a Major League game since the injury last July, but he has been working towards Grapefruit League play with appearances in Minor League games leading up to his scheduled start this week.

"It's like growing pains trying to come back, being off so long, getting the muscles cranking and getting them used to everyday things," Riddle said Thursday. "Kind of ramped up everything there for a few days, got a little sore arm, just playing it safe."

Riddle said his return is imminent, and that he is still targeting Opening Day.

"I think so, I've been able to take ground balls, I've gotten plenty of ABs back there [in the batting cage]," Riddle said. "So I feel comfortable throwing the ball every day. Being able to not only just go out there and getting loose, but stay loose, that's the thing. But it's coming."

Realmuto progressing

Catcher J.T. Realmuto (lower back contusion) is also looking at returning to the lineup by Opening Day.

"J.T.'s doing more and more. He's going to do some jogging today, see if that banging does anything to him," said Mattingly. "But he's getting better and better. As we ramp up like all the other guys, it'll let us know more. We'll see how far we can go and see if that irritates it or that allows him to say, 'Hey, we're getting on the other side.'"

Tweet from @Marlins: For our city. The making of #JustGettinStarted. pic.twitter.com/kmkn8OE597

Marlins get new "anthem"

The Marlins announced today that multi-platinum hip-hop artist DJ Khaled will perform a pre-game concert at Marlins Park on Opening Day, March 29. During the concert, which begins at 11:30 a.m. ET, Khaled will debut "Just Getting Started," a new single that was created as an anthem for the Marlins. The single features Miami's Nicky Jam, Kent Jones and Poo Bear.

Mattingly said he has yet to hear the team's new anthem.

"I'm assuming it's going to be 'Miami-ish' and fit our fan base," Mattingly said. "When I say that, I think it's going to be fun."

Up next

The Marlins host a split Nationals squad for a 7:05 p.m. ET game Friday on MLB.TV. Left-hander Caleb Smith gets the start for Miami. He will be making his sixth appearance and second start this spring. Smith has struck out 15 batters in 14 innings of Grapefruit League play.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.

Miami Marlins, Lewis Brinson, JT Riddle