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.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.