Despite missed chance, Hand could retain role for Marlins

Lefty provides rotation depth for injury-riddled staff

Despite missed chance, Hand could retain role for Marlins

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- With a limited number of Grapefruit League games remaining, Marlins lefty Brad Hand is looking to take advantage of every opportunity before Opening Day rosters are set.

One of those chances was going to be on Friday night against the Astros at Osceola County Stadium. But due to rain, the game was cancelled, causing Hand to miss a scheduled start.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rainout delays Marlins' rollout of Opening Day lineup

Redmond had planned to start Hand and play Ichiro at DH

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Marlins brought their projected Opening Day lineup to face the Astros on Friday night. What the team didn't have an answer for was the weather.

Heavy rains caused the 6:05 p.m. ET game at Osceola County Stadium to be cancelled. The decision was made roughly 70 minutes before the scheduled first pitch.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alvarez avoids injury; Marlins want to keep it that way

Pitcher slips rounding third before rain delay, finishes up day's work on covered mound

Alvarez avoids injury; Marlins want to keep it that way

JUPITER, Fla. -- Ideally, the Marlins would have liked to see Henderson Alvarez work more on his slider than his sliding ability on Thursday, but Mother Nature had other ideas.

In a rain-shortened outing, Alvarez took strides to becoming ready for the regular season on the mound. But the play that showed his overall athleticism, while also causing some concern in the dugout, was the 24-year-old sliding home safely in the fourth inning of Miami's 5-3 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mammoth shot shows Stanton's nearly season-ready

Mammoth shot shows Stanton's nearly season-ready

JUPITER, Fla. -- Peppering baseballs over the Marlins' building at Roger Dean Stadium is common for Giancarlo Stanton in batting practice. When the two-time All-Star is launching a baseball off Adam Wainwright on the balcony in a game, it's a sign the slugger is just about ready for the regular season.

Stanton connected on a solo home run and added an RBI double in two at-bats off Wainwright on Thursday in the Marlins' 5-3 win over the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stanton's early offense enough for Alvarez, Marlins

Homer, RBI double back ace's three innings before rain delay in win over Cards

Stanton's early offense enough for Alvarez, Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. -- Giancarlo Stanton blasted a home run and tacked on an RBI double on Thursday as the Marlins edged the Cardinals, 5-3, at Roger Dean Stadium. The Miami slugger connected for the second time this spring, unloading a mammoth drive off Adam Wainwright in the first inning.

Jason Heyward responded in the bottom of the frame with a big blast of his own, putting the Cardinals on the board against Henderson Alvarez. The shot to right was Heyward's first extra-base hit in Grapefruit League play.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hand to start Friday with Cosart nursing blister

Hand to start Friday with Cosart nursing blister

JUPITER, Fla. -- Having a surplus of starting pitching is turning out to be a good thing for the Marlins. On Thursday, the team announced left-hander Brad Hand will start on Friday against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla.

Hand is getting the nod after the team revealed Jarred Cosart, initially scheduled to pitch, has a blister on his right middle finger. Cosart played catch on Thursday, and he will be re-evaluated.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cosart cooperating with MLB investigation

Cosart cooperating with MLB investigation

JUPITER, Fla. -- Marlins right-hander Jarred Cosart said on Thursday that he is cooperating with the MLB investigation into his alleged involvement with an online gambler.

Cosart, 24, addressed the media for the first time since his name was linked to a gambler on Twitter. MLB on Wednesday confirmed that it is investigating the matter.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solano's big day backs Phelps' scoreless start

Solano's big day backs Phelps' scoreless start

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Bryan Holaday's grand slam capped a six-run Tigers rally in the sixth inning off Marlins reliever Sam Dyson, turning what had been a shutout performance for five innings from David Phelps into an 8-4 Tigers comeback win Wednesday afternoon at Joker Marchant Stadium.

On a day when the Tigers had Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the same lineup for the first time all spring, Phelps kept Detroit in check for five innings, allowing Miami to build an early lead on a Donovan Solano homer off Alfredo Simon and a Jordany Valdespin triple and run scored. Once Phelps left, the Tigers churned out a half-dozen hits.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Locked in' Phelps extends dominant spring

Long reliever throws five scoreless innings, lowers Grapefruit League ERA to 0.56 ERA

'Locked in' Phelps extends dominant spring

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Marlins' starting rotation is "not 100 percent set" yet, manager Mike Redmond said, but it seems pretty clear David Phelps won't be a part of it. Phelps has certainly made his case clear on the mound, though.

Phelps continued his dominant Grapefruit League run on Wednesday at Joker Marchant Stadium, holding the Tigers to two hits over five scoreless innings.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins close to making tough decision on bench

With two spots likely open, position versatility, pinch-hitting key; Solano helps cause vs. Tigers

Marlins close to making tough decision on bench

LAKELAND, Fla. -- With Opening Day less than two weeks away, the Marlins are preparing to round out their roster. Their rotation appears to be set, their everyday lineup intact and their bullpen mostly accounted for.

Perhaps the biggest task facing Miami's front office and coaching staff, then, is deciding how to fill out the club's bench.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beloved Kelly returns to Tigertown with Marlins

Beloved Kelly returns to Tigertown with Marlins

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Don Kelly spent 12 years in the Tigers' organization, so it certainly felt normal for him to take the field at Joker Marchant Stadium. And he already saw his former Detroit teammates earlier this spring, so doing so Wednesday wasn't all that unusual, either.

But walking into Tigertown and taking a turn into the visitors' clubhouse? That was a little different for Kelly.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After a tough inning, Koehler able to adjust, find groove

Looking sharp after allowing all four runs in third, righty wanted to pitch even more

After a tough inning, Koehler able to adjust, find groove

JUPITER, Fla. -- After retiring eight straight and reaching a Spring Training-high six innings Tuesday, Tom Koehler was ready for more.

The Marlins right-hander had settled into comfortable groove following a rough third inning, when he was tagged for four runs. But because his pitch count was at 80, Koehler was lifted prior to the seventh inning of Miami's 9-4 win over Boston at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Baker, Valdespin lead eight-run rally vs. Boston

Infielder cuts deficit in eighth before roster hopeful hits go-ahead two-run triple

Baker, Valdespin lead eight-run rally vs. Boston

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jeff Baker, Jordany Valdespin and Jhonatan Solano each plated a pair of runs in an eight-run eighth inning, as the Marlins rallied for a 9-4 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Baker delivered a two-run double off Boston prospect Henry Owens, and Valdespin followed with a go-ahead two-run triple. Cole Gillespie delivered an RBI single to chase Owens, who was charged with six runs allowed. Solano added a two-run double and Adeiny Hechavarria added an RBI single off Dana Eveland.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Capps headlines latest round of Marlins camp moves

Flamethrower optioned; Rottino, Nola, Misch Urckfitz, Mazzaro, Chaffee to Minors camp

Capps headlines latest round of Marlins camp moves

JUPITER, Fla. -- Carter Capps, the hardest-throwing pitcher in camp, was among seven cuts the Marlins made on Tuesday morning. The right-hander with a 100-mph fastball has struggled with command, and he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.

Miami also reassigned catcher Vinny Rottino, infielder Austin Nola lefties Pat Misch and Pat Urckfitz, and right-handers Vin Mazzaro and Ryan Chaffee to Minor League camp.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Slugger Stanton also a threat on the bases

NL home run leader knows value of steals, could be 40-20 player in 2015

Slugger Stanton also a threat on the bases

JUPITER, Fla. -- Home run power isn't the only threat Giancarlo Stanton presents. The slugger is also capable of swiping a base if the opportunity arises.

Stanton paced the National League in home runs with 37 last year, and he was second in the league in RBIs with 105. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder also was second on the Marlins in stolen bases with 13.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

All-Star from 2009-11 with Padres, fiery reliever bows out after 11-season career

Bell's final toll: Longtime closer elects to retire

Heath Bell turned down the stereo long enough in his 31-foot Fleetwood RV on Tuesday afternoon to take a few questions about the next chapter in his life, although he didn't take the foot off the gas pedal, as he bombed his way across the Florida Panhandle.

A day after being released by the Nationals, Bell was only a few hours into what he was expecting to be a three-day solo drive back to San Diego, where he will join his wife, Nicole, and their four children for good.

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morse picking up power slack this spring

New first baseman hits two homers, now has four of Marlins' nine in Grapefruit League play

Morse picking up power slack this spring

JUPITER, Fla. -- The "other" big power bat in the Marlins' lineup is heating up. Michael Morse connected on two home runs on Monday in a 12-3 loss to the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.

A free-agent pickup to offer protection for No. 3 hitter Giancarlo Stanton, Morse paces the team this spring with four home runs and 14 RBIs after his multi-homer performance in an otherwise rough day for Miami.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Latos looks on bright side on 'borderline embarrassing' day

Everything off for righty in nine-run outing, but reminds it's still March, says he'll learn from it

Latos looks on bright side on 'borderline embarrassing' day

JUPITER, Fla. -- On the bright side, the calendar was in Mat Latos' favor on Monday afternoon. Little else went the right-hander's way in the Marlins' 12-3 loss to the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium.

Unable to establish a consistent rhythm or pace, Latos was tagged for nine runs on eight hits in three innings. Mercifully, his afternoon was over after 66 pitches.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins lock up Yelich with seven-year pact

Long-term deal with Gold Glove outfielder includes eighth-year option

Marlins lock up Yelich with seven-year pact

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins on Sunday continued to build on the momentum they've generated over the past few months by officially locking up one of their own. At a morning news conference, the club announced the signing of Gold Glove-winning outfielder Christian Yelich to a seven-year extension.

Securing Yelich's services long-term is another example of the organization's commitment to becoming a contender for the foreseeable future.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miami's starting 5 'probably set,' barring the unforeseen

Rotation shaping up without surprises: Alvarez, Cosart, Latos, Haren and Koehler

Miami's starting 5 'probably set,' barring the unforeseen

JUPITER, Fla. -- Without formally announcing the Marlins' five-man rotation, manager Mike Redmond strongly indicated the starters are already set. Barring something unforeseen, there are no surprises.

Henderson Alvarez is likely to be the Opening Day starter, followed by Jarred Cosart, Mat Latos, Dan Haren and Tom Koehler.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yelich takes part in fantasy mock draft

Yelich takes part in fantasy mock draft

Here at MLB.com, we have plenty of fantasy baseball expertise. But no one can dispute that the Major League players whom we analyze have their own level of knowledge. Knowing this, we decided to solicit advice from them about how to build the perfect fantasy team. The result is the first ever -- that we know of -- players-only fantasy mock draft.

Ten players with an interest in fantasy baseball agreed to take part in a three-round mock draft with the help of MLB.com reporters, who relayed picks across the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues.

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Zachary Finkelstein is a fantasy editor for MLB.com. Reporting done by Adam McCalvy, Rhett Bollinger, Alden Gonzalez, Mark Bowman, Jane Lee, Brittany Ghiroli, Steve Gilbert, Brian McTaggart and Joe Frisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Latos languishes in long inning; Morse homers twice

After slugger hits two-run shot in first, righty allows nine runs -- eight in second frame

Latos languishes in long inning; Morse homers twice

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jacob deGrom got off to a slow start on Monday, allowing a two-run homer to Michael Morse in the first inning. But things turned quickly as the Mets responded with an eight-run second inning, punctuated by Michael Cuddyer's solo home run.

The big outburst off Mat Latos enabled deGrom to settle and the Mets to coast to a 12-3 victory over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

As precaution, Yelich sits with blister on hand

Outfielder, who just signed 7-year extension, says he will play on Tuesday

As precaution, Yelich sits with blister on hand

JUPITER, Fla. -- As a precaution, the Marlins gave left fielder Christian Yelich a couple of days off to rest a small blister on his right palm. The irritated hand kept the 23-year-old out of the lineup on Sunday and Monday.

The timing of the blister coincides with Yelich signing his seven-year, $49.57 million extension. The irritation was the result of the daily rigors of swinging the bat, not signing his big contract.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon's big day at the plate not enough vs. Twins

Stanton rips RBI double; Morse drives in two runs on 33rd birthday

Gordon's big day at the plate not enough vs. Twins

JUPITER, Fla. -- Phil Hughes minimized damage over 4 2/3 innings on Sunday, and the right-hander was able to make crucial pitches when necessary in the Twins' 5-3 win over the Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium.

Already named the Opening Day starter, Hughes allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Jordan Schafer added a two-run single and Danny Santana went 4-for-5 in a game Minnesota never trailed.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins aiming to avoid past mistakes in building contender

Team president says locking up young stars part of franchise's new direction

Marlins aiming to avoid past mistakes in building contender

JUPITER, Fla. -- In rebranding their franchise, the Marlins are aiming to avoid past mistakes. That's why the organization has targeted select players to build around -- like Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton -- and it's not looking to make any unnecessary splashes.

The Marlins tried a more "in your face" approach when they assembled a $100 million roster that fell flat in 2012, the inaugural season at Marlins Park.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cosart labors again with command

Right-hander walks four and allows four runs over four innings vs. Twins

Cosart labors again with command

JUPITER, Fla. -- Get better, or else. Jarred Cosart understands perfectly what he is up against after another rocky Spring Training start.

The right-hander labored again with his command, walking four and giving up four runs in four innings on Sunday in the Marlins' 5-3 loss to the Twins at Roger Dean Stadium.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins expected to use regular lineup over next few days

Redmond wants starters to get used to playing together

Marlins expected to use regular lineup over next few days

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins are planning on going with most of their regular lineup over the next few days. However, several of the primary relievers will be throwing in Minor League games on Monday.

With the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium on Monday, Miami plans to avoid using its main bullpen arms against a division rival. From an evaluation standpoint, a number of relievers competing for roster spots will be used in Grapefruit League games.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.