Marlins notes: Five offseason additions start vs. Cardinals

Dan Haren draws the start for the Miami Marlins' first official spring training game of 2015 on Thursday.

Jeff Roberson/AP

JUPITER, Fla. — In Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League opener at Roger Dean Stadium, the Miami Marlins will field what could be their Opening Day lineup.

Five offseason acquisitions — World Series champion first baseman Michael Morse, All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, All-Star third baseman Martin Prado, 10-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki and right-hander Dan Haren — will start against the St. Louis Cardinals.

All-Star slugger Giancarlo Stanton will make his spring debut after getting extra work in the back fields during the college exhibitions earlier this week. Haren, projected as the fourth starter in the rotation, will pitch in a Marlins uniform for the first time.

Manager Mike Redmond plans on giving the starters two at-bats and up to four innings on defense. Haren will go two frames depending on his pitch count.

"I think it’s important for these guys to play together as much as possible," Redmond said. "We do have quite a few new guys, especially in the infield. It’s important for these guys to get out there and learn each other as quickly as possible and get them going. I think that’s the key. You guys know in Florida the travel and stuff — some of the trips are longer than others. It works out where we can play those guys today and the extra guys tomorrow on the road."

ANOTHER BULLPEN SESSION

Ace Jose Fernandez, rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, threw off a mound for the second time since undergoing the procedure in May.

Fernandez threw 20 pitches. On Sunday, he tossed 15 — all fastballs. He will have sessions every Monday and Thursday as he builds his arm back up.

Marlins eager to see Jose Urena's progress during spring training

Barring any setbacks, the 22-year-old will likely return around the All-Star break in mid-July.

PACE OF PLAY

After focusing on how his pitchers and hitters adapted to the new pace of play rules during the two college exhibitions, Redmond believes there shouldn’t be much trouble for his guys.

Against Florida International University and the University of Miami, Redmond said the pitchers typically had 30-40 seconds waiting on the clock between innings.

"I thought our guys did a great job of staying in the box or close to the box," Redmond said. "We don’t really have anybody that I saw that really takes a ton of time there. … Anytime you throw a clock out there everybody — I’m sure everybody in the stands is going to be counting down when we get to the season."

During a team meeting to discuss the changes made by Major League Baseball, Redmond said pitchers running the bases will be given time to warm up. Major League administrative coach Pat Shine will have adequate time to review plays to determine whether a challenge is necessary.

"I’m not really seeing any problems," Redmond said. "Hopefully it works where you see a significant difference in pace of play. I think that’s good for the game. Hopefully it won’t be just a 1-2 minute deal. Hopefully it’s significant, but we’ll see."

Spring training photos

DESIGNATED HITTER IN SPRING

Redmond intends on using a DH through March 17-18. From that point on, the pitchers will bat for themselves like they would during the National League slate of games.

"We usually try to get out pitchers 1-2 trips through hitting in a game," Redmond said. "It’s kind of nice. It’s a luxury for us to be able to add another player to get him at-bats. So Ichiro (Suzuki) today — he can get at-bats when normally you wouldn’t be able to do it with the pitcher hitting. It works good for us."

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.