Sanabia enjoys chance to compete for starting gig

VIERA, Fla. -- Healthy, and with an opportunity in front of him, Alex Sanabia is relishing every chance he gets to fight for a spot in the Marlins' 2013 rotation.

The right-hander, making his fifth appearance of the spring (second start) on Saturday against the Nationals, surrendered four runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two in 2 2/3 innings. He threw 54 pitches, 29 for strikes.

After making 12 starts for the Marlins in 2010 and two more in '11, Sanabia spent half of 2012 battling a left oblique injury that sidelined him for the second half. In 2013, he could work his way back into the starting rotation.

"I definitely have been stoked about getting opportunities," Sanabia said. "Two starts this spring. Definitely take it into consideration and look forward to it. It's given me an opportunity to show something."

Sanabia was sharp early, but ran into trouble in the second and third innings against a vaunted Nationals lineup. He surrendered a walk, hit a batter and gave up a single against Washington's 7-8-9 hitters in the second, and gave up three straight singles to begin the third.

"He was executing his pitches," said bench coach Rob Leary. "I liked the rhythm he was pitching in. He got into a little bit of trouble in that [second] inning, but I liked the way he kept his poise and kept getting back on the mound and attacking hitters. It looked just like maybe he lost a little bit of execution at that time and ended up going out and finishing the inning and doing a good job."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter