Marlins set to open spring vs. Hurricanes

Marlins set to open spring vs. Hurricanes

JUPITER, Fla. -- Let the games begin.

The Marlins have been entrenched in going through the fundamentals since Spring Training opened on Feb. 16. Now, it's time for games to get underway.

The Marlins take on the University of Miami on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium.

Facing a college team or two has become a tradition for the club. The Marlins will start right-hander Angel Sanchez, who was acquired from the Dodgers last July in the Ricky Nolasco trade. UM is going with right-hander Javi Salas.

On Thursday, the Marlins take on Florida International University, also in Jupiter. Justin Nicolino will start for Miami.

The Grapefruit League season gets going on Friday against the Cardinals. Jose Fernandez will make his debut, with St. Louis countering with Carlos Martinez.

Against the Hurricanes on Wednesday, the Marlins will play some of their regulars. Many will get only one at-bat.

"It's a good day to give a lot of our younger guys a few at-bats in the game, and our regular guys will get in Friday," manager Mike Redmond said.

The college teams will be using metal bats.

In the past, the big league clubs were cautious of metal bats because of how much life they gave to the ball. But colleges now use BBCor bats, which don't have as much spring to them.

"I know the offense, statistically, is way down in college baseball," Redmond said. "That bat has made a huge difference. We're playing it as a game to get our younger guys in. I know our guys are excited to get a chance to play and see some of our young pitchers as well."

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