JUPITER, Fla. — The Miami Marlins’ projected rotation will finally be whole during the second week of Grapefruit League action.
After Monday’s successful simulation game, right-hander Mat Latos will start Friday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals in his official spring debut. He will follow righty Jarred Cosart, who pitched on Sunday. Right-hander David Phelps took Latos’ place on Monday in Port St. Lucie.
The starters will be working on three days’ rest because of the small workload. In their first outings, members of the rotation tossed two innings in the 30-35 pitch range.
"Just ’cause they’re not throwing that many pitches, so they’re able to bounce back and pitch again," manager Mike Redmond explained. "That’s kind of how we worked it the last couple of years."
And in some instances, starters may enter a spring game in relief. Righty Tom Koehler, the incumbent fifth starter, was scheduled to follow veteran Dan Haren in Tuesday’s game.
"It’s just how we’re lining it up to get guys starts," Redmond said. "It’s the way it works. Some guys are going to pitch on the back fields through spring training. That’s just how we worked it."
ON THE MEND
Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria sat out another day as he nurses a tired right shoulder. Redmond had hoped the 2014 Gold Glove finalist would start Tuesday’s game against the Nationals.
Hechavarria, who turns 26 in April, got a couple of at-bats during Monday’s sim game on the back fields, knocking a double off Latos. He has not, however, thrown.
After starting the Grapefruit League opener last Thursday, Hechavarria has not appeared in a game. In six innings, he went 0 for 2 with a strikeout and committed a throwing error.
Redmond said Hechavarria could return on Wednesday when the Marlins host the New York Mets at Roger Dean Stadium or on Thursday when they travel to Fort Myers to play the Minnesota Twins.
"We’ll see how he feels," Redmond said. "He said he’s feeling better, but I think we want to make sure, get him out here, let him make some throws, go through a full day of activities before we send him out in a game."
FACING THE ACE
Although the Nationals didn’t send their regulars on the 114-mile bus ride from Viera to Jupiter, they penciled in right-hander Max Scherzer for Tuesday’s matinee.
Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million contract this winter. Over the past five seasons, he has pitched in the American League with the Detroit Tigers. Scherzer won the 2013 Cy Young and made the All-Star team in consecutive seasons.
This spring-training game offers Miami an early look at the National League East’s newest ace. The Nationals and Marlins are slated for 19 regular-season matchups.
"It’ll be good to get a chance to see him for our guys," Redmond said of Scherzer. "I’ve seen him as a player, but it’ll be good to see what he’s got. Obviously the Nationals got some good arms. Good to get a chance to see him and get some at-bats off him."