It appeared to be Edwin Jackson's rotation spot to lose.
When the Marlins added Jackson in January, it appeared the expectation was he would compete for a starting job. He did just that, but when Miami announced their rotation to open the season Wednesday afternoon, Jackson was not involved.
Jackson will likely open the season pitching out of the bullpen, which could prove to be most beneficial for the Marlins long-term.
Adam Conley won the final starting job and will pitch in the three spot behind Jose Fernandez and Wei-Yin Chen. Conley was competing, but at the end of last season, it appeared the Marlins wanted Conley and Justin Nicolino to continue to develop in the minors.
However, Conley had a solid spring and earned the final starting job. That should prove to be beneficial for the Marlins moving forward.
Jarred Cosart reportedly was not guaranteed a starting job, but that almost certainly had more to do with his health than his performance.
Over 9.2 innings this spring, Conley pitched to a 1.86 ERA. While he did have success in his spring outings, Conley's performance as the 2015 campaign ended likely factored into the Marlins' decision.
Over 67.0 innings, Conley pitched to a 3.76 ERA and 3.81 FIP. Those numbers should not change much this season.
Since the Marlins had several other options, the fact they gave the job to Conley is notable. Jackson, David Phelps and Brad Hand are all also capable of starting.
The Marlins will also open the season with a pair of left-handed starters in the rotation, which will likely be valuable as the club begins playing NL East games.
Nicolino will continue to improve in Triple-A, and when he has success consistently, will likely be called upon. The Marlins might be best with both Nicolino and Conley in a rotation with Jose Fernandez.
Conley beat several veterans and is an internal options. The Marlins rightfully made him the their fifth starter.