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Forecasting the Marlins' 25-man roster

Veterans Bour, Realmuto to anchor lineup as newcomers eye open spots at camp
February 8, 2018

MIAMI -- Opportunities will be wide open when the Marlins start Spring Training on Wednesday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.Pitchers and catchers' workouts get going on Wednesday, with full-squad workouts set for Feb. 19.• Spring Training:Info | Tickets | GearWith change comes new chances for

MIAMI -- Opportunities will be wide open when the Marlins start Spring Training on Wednesday at the Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.
Pitchers and catchers' workouts get going on Wednesday, with full-squad workouts set for Feb. 19.
Spring Training:Info | Tickets | Gear
With change comes new chances for players, and rounding out the Opening Day roster promises to be a work in progress. The Marlins have a number of unanswered questions as to how the 25-man roster will look. It could morph as Spring Training progresses, and several starting and bench roles likely will be decided late in camp.
New-look Marlins set for team building to begin
With so much uncertainty ahead, takes a look at how the Marlins' 25-man roster shapes up leading into Spring Training.

Catcher (1):J.T. Realmuto
Realmuto has been a hot offseason topic. He has expressed interest in being traded, and that still could occur. For now, the 26-year-old is one of the faces of the franchise. Tomas Telis, Chad Wallach and Austin Nola are the other catchers on the 40-man roster.
Prospects ready to make strong first impression
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
First base (1):Justin Bour
Bour's 25 home runs and 83 RBIs last year were the most among the players on this year's 40-man roster. The left-handed hitter also showed he is improving against left-handed pitching, but durability has been an issue over the past two years.
Second base (1):Starlin Castro
Acquired from the Yankees in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, Castro replaces Dee Gordon, who was dealt to the Mariners. Castro, like Realmuto, has expressed he'd like to be traded to a contending team. For now, he's the regular second baseman in Miami, but he could be a trade candidate before Opening Day or in July.
Third base (1):Martin Prado
Prado is looking to rebound from an injury-plagued 2017, where he dealt with right hamstring and right knee issues that limited him to just 37 games. If healthy, the 34-year-old will be a valuable team leader. If not, or if he ends up being traded, No. 8 prospect Brian Anderson could take over.

Shortstop (1):JT Riddle
Recovered from left shoulder surgery, Riddle gets his chance to be a regular. The 26-year-old showed promise in the first half last year, but his production slipped as his shoulder clearly was an issue.
Utility (4): Telis, Derek Dietrich, Miguel Rojas, Garrett Cooper
Expected to carry 13 pitchers, the Marlins again will lean on a four-man bench. Telis can handle the backup catching role and play some first base. Dietrich will see plenty of playing time, likely at several positions. He is most experienced at second, but he can also handle first, third and left field. Rojas is the club's most versatile defender, who is best at shortstop but also strong at first, second and third. Cooper, acquired from the Yankees, is a right-handed-hitting alternative at first base, and he also can play left or right field.

Outfield (3):Lewis Brinson, Braxton Lee, Magneuris Sierra
None of the three on the 40-man roster has much MLB experience, and there's no guarantee any of them are on the Opening Day roster. Brinson, Miami's top prospect, is No. 27 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list. Sierra is a speedster who profiles as a leadoff batter. Lee, the Double-A Southern League's co-batting champion, was a standout in the Arizona Fall League.
Starting pitchers (5): Dan Straily, Jose Urena, Adam Conley, Dillon Peters, Wei-Yin Chen
Straily came as advertised last year after being dealt from the Reds. Durable and dependable, the right-hander is a frontrunner to start on Opening Day. Urena, a hard-thrower, enjoyed a breakthrough season last year, and led the team with 14 wins. Conley looks to bounce back to the form he showed in 2016. Peters, a September callup, likely will make the rotation if he establishes his fastball command. Chen's status is entirely based on his health. He has missed substantial time the past two seasons due to left elbow discomfort as he manages a partial ligament tear. If Chen's elbow is an issue and No. 3 prospect Sandy Alcantara shows he's ready, Alcantara could wind up on the Opening Day roster.

Bullpen (8):Brad Ziegler (closer), Kyle Barraclough, Junichi Tazawa, Jarlin Garcia, Drew Steckenrider, Nick Wittgren, Caleb Smith, Justin Nicolino
Ziegler, who has 95 career saves, has the most experience closing. He could start off in that role, but eventually it may wind up going to Barraclough or Steckenrider. Wittgren is recovering from a right elbow injury, and he could be in a setup role. Tazawa is a veteran who had a rough 2017. Garcia, Smith and Nicolino are three lefties who could wind up in the rotation or the 'pen.

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