The battle for the fifth rotation spot continued to grow as Wade LeBlanc threw two scoreless innings for the Miami Marlins in their Monday afternoon loss to the Atlanta Braves. The final at Champion Stadium which is part of Disney’s Wide World of Sports was 7-6 after Miami scored five times in the eighth inning.
Chris Coghlan made the start and lead off for Miami as he looks to secure a bench role going into Opening Day. The former Rookie of the Year had two hits including his first double of the Spring to go along with a run scored. Alfredo Silverio was given an extended look as he came to the plate five times in the game, a rare event this early in the Spring. Silverio who started at Designated Hitter once again is one of the more intriguing players in camp this year and Miami wants to get him as many chances at the plate as possible to see what they have. Jake Marisnick who is expected to begin the year in AA Jacksonville had an RBI triple in his lone at-bat of the game and is now hitting .667 in the Spring. Marisnick was acquired in the trade with Toronto this past November and is one of the Marlins’ top prospects.
LeBlanc is battling John Maine, Alex Sanabia and others for the coveted fifth starter spot and did nothing to hurt his chances on Monday as he struck out two and didn’t allow a hit. After bouncing between AAA, the bullpen and the rotation in 2012 — LeBlanc is looking for stability and an every fifth day role to begin the year. It remains possible that LeBlanc works out of middle relief again. Scott Maine who is considered to have an inside edge on a bullpen job struggled in his first Grapefruit League outing allowing three runs in one inning of work. Maine is on the 40-man roster which makes it a little easier to have him break camp than a non-roster invitee but he will need to show more than he did on Monday.
The Marlins will head home to Jupiter on Tuesday to take on the New York Mets with ace Ricky Nolasco scheduled to make his Spring debut.