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Marlins getting good turnout for 'Breakfast Bunt Club'

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Each morning at 8 a.m. ET, the Marlins' "Breakfast Bunt Club" is open for business on a back field at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

The turnout has been good all spring, as position players and pitchers have regularly worked on bunting.

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Third-base coach Joe Espada organizes the daily drills. He's joined by Tarrik Brock, the Marlins' Minor League outfielder coordinator. When Espada is on the road, like Saturday with the team facing the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Brock takes over.

"It's my 'Breakfast Bunt Club,'" Espada said. "Starts at 8, ends at 9. Bunting is going to be a big part of our game this year."

Manager Mike Redmond has mandated the team stress the fundamentals.

"Mike wants for us to work on it every day," Espada said.

The drills are done on the tiny, fenced-off infield on the complex. The field is primarily used for infield work. For bunting, Espada sets up a pitching machine and uses small cones to locate areas the players aim to drop bunts.

The players working on bunting by 8 a.m. include Juan Pierre, Chone Figgins, Kevin Mattison, Chris Coghlan, Adeiny Hechavarria, Donovan Solano, Christian Yelich, Gorkys Hernandez, Jake Marisnick and Danny Black.

In a B game against the Cardinals on Tuesday, Black dropped down a perfect bunt single. Pierre already has had a bunt double in a Grapefruit League game, while Mattison and Hernandez have already tried in games.

"The cones are giving them a visual," Espada said. "If you keep those bunts inside those cones, you're in good shape. You'll get the job done. You will get the guy over, or you give yourself a good chance to get a hit."

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