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Miami Marlins morning news: Alvarez sharp in final spring start

The Opening Day starter tossed six innings and only allowed one run in a 3-2 win against the Cardinals. Plus links on Dee Gordon and the conclusion of the bench-battle.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins News

Henderson Alvarez looks ready to take on the Braves on April 6th after throwing six innings of one-run ball, totaling eighty-five pitches yesterday. Ichiro Suzuki's RBI single in the top of the 9th turned out to be the deciding run in the 3-2 win over St. Louis.

The Dodgers gave up on Dee Gordon, but the Marlins saw promise. So far this spring, the deal which sent Gordon to Miami has looked very good from the Marlins' standpoint. Gordon leads the team in hits, has scored many runs because of his speed and has been a catalyst for the offense. This could be the case all season long.

Jeffrey Loria probably hasn't received many Christmas cards from Marlins supporters since the fire sale of 2012. However, it appears that he has changed his ways after the busy off-season and has put Miami in a position to contend. Should he now be forgiven?

The Marlins aren't known for their particularly hot starts (who can forget the white-hot 11-1 opening to 2009 though?), but one this year would serve the team well as they hope to stay with the rest of the National League before Jose Fernandez returns. This could be feasible with a relatively light schedule in the month of April.

There is now only one roster spot to fill before the end of spring training. Donovan Solano and Don Kelly have won the remaining bench spots by beating out Jordany Valdespin and Reid Brignac, among others. The only decision left to make is who will man the last bullpen spot. The leading candidates are Aaron Crow and Sam Dyson.

Another season preview is in. Bleacher Report has taken an extended look at the Marlins, but do they have the team playing in October?

Around the League

Not many people believe the Fish will be able to keep up with Washington for the NL East crown due the formidable rotation which calls Nationals Park home. However, the Marlins' lineup contains many of the division's best players per position.

We now know that Kris Bryant won't feature on Opening Day for the Cubs, but there is an influx of young talent ready to take the league by storm this season. Here are a few of the names you might see lighting up the scoreboards this year and beyond.

Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon is getting yet another opinion on his sprained MCL which might keep him out of the Opening Day lineup. If the Nats aren't at full-strength, then a good start for the Fish becomes even more critical.

Who says baseball is dying? The average salary for a major leaguer is now over $4 million, and the $9 billion industry is going from strength to strength:

"It isn't just the TV deals," union head Tony Clark wrote in an email to the AP. "From the parity on the field to the fan support & business off it (including the national TV contracts), the industry has never been healthier."

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