Fish Bites: Jose Fernandez to pitch Miami Marlins Grapefruit League opener

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Last season's NL Rookie of The Year Jose Fernandez will start Miami's first spring game against the Cardinals on Friday, Mike Redmond said. Plus links on Garrett Jones, Justin Nicolino, and Chris Hatcher.

-Marlins Way: Could Nick Franklin be a Fit for the Team? - Marlin Maniac - A Miami Marlins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

Despite having their roster for the 2014 season almost locked in, the Miami Marlins, as recently as two weeks ago, were still inquiring about Red Sox third baseman, Will Middlebrooks. This was according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.

-Miami Marlins Mount Rushmore? - Marlin Maniac - A Miami Marlins Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More

However, when author and Fan Cave hopeful Marlin Maniac author Andy Salgado had the idea of discussing the Mount Rushmore for the Marlins franchise, it was an idea the entire staff of Marlin Maniac wanted to get on board of. Here are what the writers had to say would be on their Mount Rushmore for the Marlins:

-Marlins hoping instant replay doesn’t slow down game | Fish Tank blog: Miami Marlins | The Palm Beach Post

Garrett Jones likes having the power to do something about close plays. But the Marlins first baseman is not sure how much he’ll be able to take advantage of the new instant replay rules.

-Jose Fernandez to start Grapefruit opener Friday | Fish Bytes

Some non-political news involving upcoming pitching assignments: Jose Fernandez is expected to start the Grapefruit League opener for the Marlins on Friday when they face the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Carlos Martinez is scheduled to take the mound for the Cardinals.

-Mike Redmond recalls 2003 plate collision with Ty Wigginton | Fish Bytes

Ty Wigginton has a number of obstacles to overcome in order to win an Opening Day roster spot with the Marlins. But manager Mike Redmond said a violent home-plate collision he had with Wigginton in 2003 won't be one of them. "Absolutely not," Redmond said.

-Miami Marlins: Nick Wittgren "dark horse" for bullpen spot - Sun Sentinel

One front office official considers right-hander Nick Wittgren a dark horse candidate to open the season in the Miami Marlins bullpen.

-Miami Marlins get acquainted with new replay rules - Sun Sentinel

Manager Mike Redmond spent part of his Thursday morning getting briefed on the new instant replay system. While encouraged at the notion of getting more calls right, Redmond on Friday said he would withhold judgment until season's end. "Pace of play is such a big deal," Redmond said. "Like everybody I'm waiting to see how it works."

-Miami Marlins: Andrew Heaney armed to follow Fernandez - Sun Sentinel

It's a bit soon to be looking for the next Jose Fernandez. The original is all of 21 and preparing an encore for his dazzling Rookie of the Year season. That the Marlins gave Fernandez an opportunity to jump from Class A directly to the major leagues is not only encouraging to a handful of close-to-ready young pitchers in the organization, it has fueled speculation that Andrew Heaney could be the next to make the leap, perhaps as soon as this season.

-Alvarez, other Marlins plea for peace in Venezuela | marlins.com: News

The threat of violence in Venezuela led to Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez bringing his wife and two-month-old daughter to South Florida on Thursday night.

-Nicolino is focused on making improvements | marlins.com: News

Some humbling outings at the end of 2013 have motivated Justin Nicolino heading into this season. The 22-year-old, ranked as the seventh-best lefty-pitching prospect by MLB.com, left Double-A Jacksonville with a bitter feeling.

-Hatcher understands time to impress is now | marlins.com: News

It wasn't until the day before Spring Training started that Chris Hatcher knew for sure he would be in camp with the Marlins. Hatcher was designated for assignment on Feb. 11 to make 40-man roster space for reliever Carlos Marmol. Four days later, the 29-year-old right-hander was outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans and invited to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.

-Ozuna looking to land job in Marlins' outfield | marlins.com: News

Thumb taped and covered by a batting glove, Marcell Ozuna steps into the batters' box without any hesitation on the back fields at Roger Dean Stadium. Upbeat and enthusiastic as ever, baseball is fun and games all over again for Ozuna.

-Fernandez gets nod for Grapefruit opener | marlins.com: News

High-energy Jose Fernandez has shown in his first few bullpen sessions an eagerness to face hitters. The 21-year-old won't have to wait much longer to see some game action.

Around The League

-CC Sabathia hopes his weight loss brings results. | SportsonEarth.com : John Perrotto Article

CC Sabathia caused a stir by arriving at Yankees camp 40 pounds lighter than he was at the end of last season. The Yankee ace hopes that being in better shape and focusing on his health will not only extend his baseball career, but improve his post-career life.

-Mets' Matt Harvey throws for first time since Tommy John surgery | MLB.com: News

This is the storyline the Mets want no one to follow, other than folks with degrees in medicine and those who draw paychecks from the Wilpon treasury. And goodness knows, those folks better keep their knowledge of it to themselves. It is the story of Matt Harvey and his recovering right elbow ligament.

-Orioles, Nelson Cruz agree to one-year, $8 million contract | MLB.com: News

The Orioles have agreed to terms on a one-year, $8 million contract with free agent Nelson Cruz, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Saturday.

-Andrew McCutchen remains as calm as ever entering the '14 season, his follow-up to an MVP Award-winning campaign | MLB.com: News

Is Andrew McCutchen entertaining? Yeah, pull up a chair. But when it's time for the day job, McCutchen becomes a one-trick pony again. It's all baseball -- one trick, five tools.

At Fish Stripes

-Giancarlo Stanton and the Marlins' fan base - Fish Stripes

The Miami Marlins will eventually lose Giancarlo Stanton by trade in the next two years. But will this be the straw that breaks the camel's back for the fan base?

-Spring Training 2014: Marlins pitchers and catchers report - Fish Stripes

The Miami Marlins sent pitchers and catchers to Roger Dean Stadium yesterday to start the 2014 preseason.

-Fish Bites: Miami Marlins' Steve Cishek resting stiff neck - Fish Stripes

Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek has been limited in his early bullpen sessions as a result of a stiff neck. Plus links on Jose Fernandez and Carlos Marmol.

-Miami Marlins' outfielder Giancarlo Stanton 'not a loser' - Fish Stripes

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton told reporters on Thursday that he is "not a loser" and that it is time for the organization to start winning.

-Fish Stripes 2014 Top Marlins Prospects: #8 Brian Flynn - Fish Stripes

Brian Flynn ranks eighth on the Fish Stripes top prospect list on the promise of yielding immediate value for the Marlins, with the potential to anchor the back of the rotation for the next few years.

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