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Miami Marlins 25-man roster prediction

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Opening Day is less than a week away and the roster may be close to being set.

Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Miami has been active of late with regard to roster moves, and the club's 25-man roster is beginning to take shape. Preston Claiborne was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday, leaving 34 players in major league camp. The Marlins also placed Rule 5 draft pick Andrew McKirahan on waivers on Monday night.

The Rotation

1: Henderson Alvarez

2: Mat Latos

3: Tom Koehler

4: Dan Haren

5: Jarred Cosart

Roundup: Manager Mike Redmond has only formally announced that Henderson Alvarez will be the club's Opening Day starter when the Marlins open the season against the Atlanta Braves next Monday afternoon. Miami will be without Jose Fernandez for the first half of the season, and once Fernandez returns, Koehler could be moved to the bullpen.

Beyond Alvarez, any combination of Latos, Koehler, Haren, and Cosart is possible. However, Cosart missed his last start as a result of a blister, and while he is expected to be prepared by next week, placing him at the end of the rotation ensures he will have enough time to make sure he is completely healthy. Latos' experience and power arm make him a possible number two option, with Haren occupying the fourth spot.

Once Cosart is healthy, he could be the second or third starter. But if the Marlins do not feel the need to shuffle the rotation, it may look this way over the first few weeks of the season.

The Starters

Catcher: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

First Base: Michael Morse

Second Base: Dee Gordon

Third Base: Martin Prado

Shortstop: Adeiny Hechavarria

Left Field: Christian Yelich

Center Field: Marcell Ozuna

Right Field: Giancarlo Stanton

Roundup: Miami was notably active this offseason and added Morse, Gordon, and Prado to its lineup. Morse will provide power behind Stanton, with Prado adding a mature bat and Gordon providing speed at the top of the order. There are not really any decisions to be made here. The Marlins' starters appear to be set.

The Bench

Backup Catcher: Jeff Mathis

Reserve Outfielder: Ichiro Suzuki

Infielder: Jeff Baker

Utility/Pinch Hitter: Reid Brignac

Utility/Pinch Hitter: Donovan Solano

Roundup: Beyond the rotation and starting lineup, the Marlins have roster spots to fill. Mathis, Suzuki, and Baker are locks, however Miami has to decide on who will take the final two spots. Solano, Brignac, and Don Kelly are likely the finalists. Solano gives Miami infield depth and is a versatile piece who can give an infielder a day off. The same is true of Brignac, however he is also a left-handed pinch hitting option who can relieve Hechavarria at shortstop whenever necessary. One of the final two spots can very easily be given to Kelly, though, as he too is a versatile lefty. Reed Johnson was in the mix before being released on Monday.

The Bullpen

Closer: Steve Cishek

Setup: Mike Dunn

Setup: Bryan Morris

Middle Relief: A.J. Ramos

Middle Relief: Aaron Crow

Long Relief: Brad Hand

Long Relief: David Phelps

Roundup: By placing McKirahan on waivers, the Marlins likely do not plan on him making the 25-man roster. Instead of returning him to the Cubs, Miami may consider trading him. Ultimately, the only locks in the bullpen are Cishek, Dunn, Morris, and Ramos. Crow is a veteran piece who could be valuable as the season progresses, and the Marlins want to keep Hand, who is out of options, on the roster. Phelps has had a solid spring and could make a spot start whenever necessary.

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