With Spring Training coming to a close, some roster competitions are winding down, most notably in the outfield. The Marlins are most likely going to carry four outfielders, with Curtis Granderson and Lewis Brinson already penciled in. Minor league signee Harold Ramírez has impressed, but isn’t currently on the 40-man roster. Ramírez has the ability to opt out of his contract Saturday if he doesn’t see a clear path to major league playing time in Miami.
The final starting spot will most likely come down to either Peter O’Brien or Garrett Cooper.
Cooper continued to make his case against the Nats. He went 2-for-3, and extended his streak of reaching base safely to nine games.
“It would be frustrating if I don't make it,” said Cooper, who missed all but 14 games last year with injuries. “Can’t worry about that stuff. You just let the coaches and the front office take care of that. But I think I pushed the bill of deserving to be on the roster.”
Dan Straily had some rough spots in his start (5.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K), but still was able to continue working on things that he was working on throughout spring.
“I think it went pretty well for what I was looking to do. Today was the first day I just got to put away everything we’re trying to work on, trying to tinker with, and just try to go out there with the tools that I believe I’m best at. Just attack the game the way I attack it,” Straily said.
As for the rest of the Fish, the offense was largely ineffective against Max Scherzer early on. Scherzer had 12 Ks through 7.0 IP, and only allowed one run through four innings. However, the Marlins did damage in the fifth, with Neil Walker hitting a two-run home run.
The Nats led 5-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, but Issac Galloway hit a clutch two-out home run to tie the game.
The Marlins play in Jupiter again on Saturday against the Astros. José Ureña will get the start for the Fish.
Don Mattingly said the team is meeting Saturday morning to discuss the starting rotation for Opening Day. It is possible that one of the four young arms—Alcántara, López, Smith, Richards—will be sent down to the minors. Caleb Smith is scheduled for a relief appearance in Saturday’s game, regardless.
Fish Stripes will be on site to cover the game, as well as any news regarding roster moves.