Diving into the depths: Florida Marlins

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This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training.
Florida Marlins
Rotation
1. Josh Johnson
2. Ricky Nolasco
3. Anibal Sanchez
4. Chris Volstad
5. Andrew Miller
6. Sean West
7. Rick VandenHurk
8. Ryan Tucker
9. Hayden Penn
10. Burke Badenhop
11. Graham Taylor
Barring a surprising addition, it will be a three- or four-man competition for the final two spots in Florida’s rotation this spring. I have Volstad as the clear favorite for one of the two spots. VandenHurk should take a backseat to Miller and West for the other job, but he’s out of options, something that could really help his case.
Bullpen
1. Leo Nunez
2. Dan Meyer
3. Brian Sanches
4. Renyel Pinto
5. Burke Badenhop
6. Cristhian Martinez
7. Taylor Tankersley
8. Tim Wood
9. Rick VandenHurk
10. Jose Veras
11. Derrick Turnbow
12. Clay Hensley
13. Hunter Jones
14. Scott Strickland
15. Ryan Tucker
16. Chris Leroux
17. Jay Buente
18. Jose Ceda
The Marlins were on the lookout for an inexpensive closer, but no one has been cheap enough yet. As is, it appears to be Nunez’s job. There should be five near locks for the pen unless Pinto is traded. The veterans could leap over Martinez and Wood with strong springs, but there’s no reason to pencil in names like Veras and Turnbow yet.


Catcher
1. John Baker
2. Ronny Paulino
3. Brett Hayes
First base
1. Logan Morrison
2. Gaby Sanchez
3. Jorge Cantu
4. Wes Helms
Second base
1. Dan Uggla
2. Chris Coghlan
3. Emilio Bonifacio
4. Danny Richar
5. Brian Barden
6. Donnie Murphy
Third base
1. Jorge Cantu
2. Emilio Bonifacio
3. Wes Helms
4. Brian Barden
5. Jorge Jimenez
6. Donnie Murphy
Shortstop
1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Emilio Bonifacio
3. Brian Barden
4. Donnie Murphy
It looks like the Marlins are leaning towards keeping Cantu at third and letting the youngsters battle it out for the first-base job. It would assure a weak infield defense, but that’s typical of the Marlins.
I’m putting Morrison ahead of Sanchez, based on comments from the team that they think he’s ready for the majors. Sanchez has the more extensive track record and would hit for more power, but Morrison could offer more in the way of OBP and defense.
Left field
1. Chris Coghlan
2. Brett Carroll
3. Emilio Bonifacio
4. Jai Miller
5. Scott Cousins
Center field
1. Cameron Maybin
2. Brett Carroll
3. Cody Ross
4. Emiliano Bonifacio
Right field
1. Cody Ross
2. Brett Carroll
3. Mike Stanton
4. Scott Cousins
A fourth outfielder who can hit is still a need. Carroll’s incredible defensive numbers justify his spot on the roster, but it’d be nice if the Marlins had another fallback in case of injury or a poor showing from Maybin.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.