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Marlins might have to rely on small ball

JUPITER, Fla. -- Effort and energy are highly prevalent in Marlins' camp, but eye-popping power is not.

Aside from Giancarlo Stanton, the team isn't loaded with big league ready power.

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Manager Mike Redmond is watching and seeing who steps up and who may wind up hitting in the middle of the order.

For now, Stanton is an option to bat third, primarily to get him a guaranteed at-bat in the first inning. Who bats fourth and fifth is wide open.

"I know if I was on this team, I would love to hit behind Stanton because there's going to be lot of runs to drive in," Redmond said. "I would love that opportunity. Somebody's going to be there. It doesn't have to be a power guy. A base-hit guy can drive in a lot of runs."

In many ways, the 2013 Marlins are compared to the franchise's 2006 team. That's because both squads relied heavily on rookies. But the '06 version had substantial power, hitting 182 home runs.

Right now, Justin Ruggiano is a candidate to hit in the middle of the lineup. Joe Mahoney, a left-handed-hitting first baseman, will get an opportunity to win a roster spot.

Casey Kotchman, a first baseman who just signed as a non-roster invitee, is more a line-drive hitting option.

"We might have to manufacture a little more than other teams," Redmond said. "We might have to bunt more. We might have to run more. We're going to have to play the small game to manufacture runs. I'd love to be able to sit back there and wait for the home runs. The key is to be to get guys on base and we force the other team to pitch to Stanton. That's what we want."

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