Bryan Petersen was optioned to Triple-A, making the competition for the final roster spot a little narrower. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Yesterday, the Miami Marlins made a few more decisions on their way to determining their final 25-man roster entering Opening Day. The team released Aaron Rowand and optioned Bryan Petersen amidst a flurry of moves. This opens up room for Chris Coghlan and Austin Kearns to make the team as fourth and fifth outfielders respectively, with Coghlan backing up center field and Kearns backing the corners and first base.
With these moves, the Marlins' 25-man roster is almost complete. Let's take a look at the likely list.
PitchersJose Ceda, the relief prospect the Marlins acquired from the Chicago Cubs a number of years ago for Kevin Gregg, is set to undergo Tommy John surgery after finding a ligament tear during camp. This comes three years after the reliever missed the entire 2009 season with right shoulder surgery on a torn labrum as well.
Typically, in the early parts of the year, teams will often forgo a fifth starter in favor of another reliever, but the Marlins actually have five capable starters and likely will not utilize that early season scheduling possibility. As a result, you could see them turn to Kearns as a backup outfielder, especially since the team does have some lingering concerns about the health status of starting outfielders Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom were suffering from knee injuries. If there are questions about either of their health situations by Opening Day, then you can expect the Fish to keep an extra outfielder just in case.
Either way, the last slot is going to be mostly irrelevant, as they will be playing a backup or very low-leverage role for the team. Either slot will simply be providing depth more than anything else, so this impact is going to be minimal. Still, seeing the completion of the 25-man roster is only getting me more excited for Opening Day; we're just counting the days until we get that first pitch on Wednesday evening.