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The Fifth Starter

It is looking like Sergio Mitre is going to be it.

Sergio Mitre cemented his grip as the likely No. 5 starter for the Marlins on Wednesday with an impressive outing in which he threw 76 percent of his pitches for strikes and gave up only three hits, two of them infield singles.

While that is excellent, it is even more impressive given the type of pitches he threw.  Especially coming off a shoulder injury.

And Mitre, a right-hander who is gradually working his way back from shoulder issues that derailed much of his season last year, looked sharp as he threw 45 of his 59 pitches -- a high percentage of them curveballs and changeups -- for strikes.

Assuming the young man isn't in pain today, he is next to good to go.  All he has to do now is build up arm strength.  But the fact he was able to throw mainly breaking and off speed pitches with little difficulty for strikes isn't the only indicator he is the leader for the fifth slot.

Mitre is scheduled to start on Monday, the 26th, against the Cardinals.  With his start after that being on March 31.

The Marlins take on the Reds in an exhibition game in Dayton, Ohio, on March 31, and right now, Nolasco is scheduled to pitch there, while Mitre is slated for a Minor League start the same day.

The club has Mitre starting every five days, as opposed to his chief competition - Yusmeiro Petit.

Yusmeiro Petit, who is another possibility, also threw on Wednesday, tossing 27 pitches in two shutout innings.


One reason Petit threw two innings on Wednesday is because he will start on Sunday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla. Since Petit is going on short rest, he wasn't pushed longer in the Minor League game.

Petit is going after three days rest.  This indicates to me with the organization keeping Mitre on a starter's schedule and Petit going on short rest that he is being conditioned for the bullpen.

Just a guess.