New Marlins pitchers among those to settle in on Day 1
Latos, Haren join fray as Miami opens spring camp with plenty of promise
JUPITER, Fla. -- On paper, the Marlins look to have a competitive club. If first impressions mean anything, the team looks like it comes as advertised.
The much-anticipated opening of Spring Training took place on a frigid 37-degree Friday morning at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. Temperatures did warm up to the mid-50s in the afternoon when pitchers and catchers began workouts.
"These guys nowadays are so prepared for Spring Training," manager Mike Redmond said. "This is really a pretty easy workout for them. But it is a little cool, and we are easing guys into it. It's more of a comfort thing, getting them around each other, hanging out and talking to each other. It was a great workout."
After five straight losing seasons, the Marlins feel they have put together a contender. They've added veterans like Dee Gordon, Michael Morse, Dan Haren, Mat Latos, Martin Prado and Ichiro Suzuki.
About half of the 34 pitchers on the roster threw off the mound on Friday, with the other half slated to do so on Saturday.
"You can kind of tell where guys are at," Redmond said. "Obviously, the veterans, guys who have been around a long time, their approach in their bullpens is completely different than young guys. Young guys tend to be more aggressive and energetic."
Redmond added you can tell by the spins of breaking pitches which players have been throwing longer before they got to Jupiter.
Haren and Latos are new additions to the rotation that also features Henderson Alvarez and Jarred Cosart. Tom Koehler, Brad Hand and David Phelps are the leading candidates for the fifth spot.
In all, 32 pitchers are in camp. But the club's ace, Jose Fernandez, will be on his own throwing program as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.
Fernandez is on a long-toss schedule, and he is expected to throw off the mound for the first time on March 1 at the earliest. His projected return is between June 15-July 15.
Miami's full-squad workouts begin on Tuesday.
"We're excited to get on the field and come together as a team," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "We love what we've been able to do this offseason. We were able to add to our existing core. It's a matter of us coming together as a team and gearing ourselves to have a tremendous 2015."