The Marlins have announced Edinson Volquez as their Opening Day starter, and have also named the next three starting pitchers in the rotation.
Marlins rotation to open the season: Volquez, RH Dan Straily, RH Tom Koehler, Mattingly said Wei-Yin Chen will start 4th game. 5th game TBD— Andre Fernandez (@AndreMHsports) March 24, 2017
Volquez signed a two-year, $22 million deal with the Marlins this offseason after posting a 5.87 ERA and 1.548 WHIP in 34 starts with the Royals last season.
The game two starter, Dan Straily, was acquired by the Marlins in a trade with the Reds in January that sent pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White to Cincinnati.
Tom Koehler will start game three after a solid 2016 season in which he posted a 4.33 ERA in 33 starts. Wei-Yin Chen will take the mound for game four of the season after pitching to a 4.96 ERA in an injury-riddled 2016 campaign.
The fifth spot in the rotation, however, is still open, which may come as a shock. It seemed like Adam Conley would be a lock for the starting rotation after he pitched to a promising 3.85 ERA and struck out 124 batters in 133 1⁄3 innings in 2016.
Now, it looks like that final starting spot will come down to either Conley or Jose Urena, which may have something to do with Conley’s recent struggles. The left-hander allowed four earned runs in 2 2⁄3 innings pitched in his last spring training start on March 19 against the Nationals.
Urena also may end up with the spot because, unlike Conley, he is out of minor league options. If the Marlins were to try to send Urena to the minor leagues to start the season, he would have to go through waivers first. Urena could go to bullpen if Conley gets the fifth rotation spot, but Miami’s bullpen is already packed full of talent.
The Marlins also have the option of using just four starting pitchers in the first go-around. An off day on April 4, one day after Opening Day, would allow Volquez to pitch again in Miami’s fifth game of the season on April 8.