Call them the anti-Nationals, maybe. But the Marlins are only a game out of first place and they are taking precautions with a young pitching prospect in the event they need him to help them out for a playoff run in September.
The pitcher is Andrew Heaney, who plays for Triple A New Orleans. Clark Spencer of the Herald reports today that he is being skipped in the rotation and will likely be skipped a few more times this season so that he doesn’t hit his innings limit and thus could be used for a potential playoff stretch run. In this the Marlins are making a different choice than the Nats made with Stephen Strasburg a couple of years ago.
As of now, Heaney ,who just turned 23, is 3-0 with a 2.74 ERA and is striking out more then 10 batters per nine innings in four Triple-A starts.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: