The show before the “Big Show” gets underway in earnest for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins, today at 12:05 Eastern time in Jupiter, Florida at their shared spring training complex at Roger Dean Stadium.
The first Marlin that we’ll get a look at on the mound is Dillon Peters, who was great at home and not so much on the road in a six-game look at the end of last season. He struck out 27 in 31 1⁄3 major league innings, but pitched to a 1.63 WHIP and a 5.17 ERA. His 4.69 FIP hints at better things to come, despite the small sample size. You can read a lot more about him here, in Mitch’s rotational preview piece. (tl;dr - Mitch gives him a 40% chance at making the rotation, but I’ll take the over).
Miami released a preliminary lineup over 24 hours prior to gametime, but then issued an update early Friday morning with Eric Campbell replacing Garrett Cooper at first base.
UPDATE: Marlins lineup for today's game has changed— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) February 23, 2018
1. RF Sierra
2. C Realmuto
3. 2B Castro
4. DH Bour
5. 1B Campbell*
6. LF Dietrich
7. CF Brinson
8. 3B Anderson
9. SS Rojas
*Originally Garrett Cooper
It was a long cold winter from a major league perspective for Miami, and the team is now projected as a nearly-100-loss club. Bovada has the Marlins at 64.5 wins (again, I’ll take the over - after all, you know there’s one born every minute).
This is as early as it gets, and as such, we should take very little from whether the Marlins win or lose the game. Despite that, if you’re baseball starved like me, you’ll tune in any way you can and check out the new Marlins. RF Magneuris Sierra, 3B Brian Anderson, and CF Lewis Brinson have 189 combined major league at bats, but big things are expected and we’ll get our first look early. After a year out of the majors, non-roster invitee Eric Campbell will make the start at first base. Four-time All-Star Starlin Castro will make his Marlins’ debut at second, while C J.T. Realmuto, LF Derek Dietrich, DH Justin Bour, and SS Miguel Rojas round out the lineup.
Expect Peters to go two or three frames before getting some of these other guys some game reps on the hill. The team lists Odrisamer Despaigne, Elieser Hernandez, Chris O’Grady, Javy Guerra, Drew Rucinski and Alex Wimmers as the other available pitchers.
Gamethread question: Who do you want to see end up in the Marlins’ rotation on Opening Day?