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Notes: Girardi may have hit on lineup

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Notes: Girardi may have hit on lineup

Opening Day batting order may resemble one used Tuesday

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com

JUPITER, Fla. -- All lineups being tossed around now by Marlins manager Joe Girardi are subject to change, but Tuesday's batting order may closely resemble the one that will be used on Opening Day.

For the past few days, Girardi has gone with Hanley Ramirez leading off, followed Jeremy Hermida, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Jacobs and Josh Willingham. Dan Uggla is sixth, with Reggie Abercrombie seventh and Chris Aguila eighth.


With that batting order, the Marlins pounded out three home runs Tuesday and beat the Dodgers, 8-6, at Roger Dean Stadium.


"Our lineup is subject to change, depending on what happens here," Girardi said. "We're going to hit either Herm [Hermida] or Jacobs behind Miguel. Right now, we've moved Herm up to the two hole, [where] we think he's a better fit."


Hermida has a good eye and is capable of drawing more walks and being a hit-and-run option from the second spot. If Cabrera bats third, which is likely at this point, Jacobs is the more logical choice to bat cleanup.


With an order like this, the Marlins move away from using two speedsters at the top of the order, which was their trademark when Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo used to hit first and second.


Ramirez isn't a prototypical speedster at the top of the order, but the 22-year-old shortstop can run. He may not steal 40 bases, but the former Red Sox farmhand can hit the ball out of the park.


Tuesday's lineup gives some balance from both sides of the plate, with two left-handed hitters wrapped around Cabrera.


"If they bring in a lefty to face Herm, they're probably not going to leave him in to face Cabrera," Girardi said. "This kind of protects our hitters a little bit."


Hitting Cabrera third assures he bats in the first inning.


"This is something I'm toying with now," Girardi said. "But obviously it's important to get him as many at-bats in a game as we can."


Roster moves: Five players were sent to the Minor Leagues on Tuesday. Reliever Logan Kensing was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque, while pitchers Eddie Gaillard and Buddy Carlyle were reassigned to Minor League camp along with infielders Scott Seabol and Mickey Lopez.


Kensing, who is returning from a shoulder injury, threw 6 2/3 innings in Grapefruit League play, and he posted a 2.70 ERA.


A converted starter, Kensing was moved to the bullpen where he is an option as a long reliever.


Lopez, a Miami native, was in the hunt for a backup infield spot. He appeared in 13 games and was 2-for-23 (.087). With Alfredo Amezaga back from the World Baseball Classic, where he played for Mexico, Lopez became expendable.


Amezaga is in the mix to back up shortstop and second base. Uggla is the projected starting second baseman, but he has yet to sew up the job.

Left-hander Jason Vargas gave up two runs in five innings, tossing 78 pitches on Tuesday against the Dodgers.


A frontrunner for a rotation spot, Vargas is next scheduled to pitch on Monday, which is six days between outings. By throwing on March 27 against the Orioles at Fort Lauderdale, Vargas is slotted to be in the fourth-starter spot in the regular season.


After Tuesday's win over the Dodgers, however, Girardi said nothing is finalized on the rotation. He said several pitchers likely will get an extra day or two of rest.


"We just need to get a lot of innings in for a lot of people," Girardi said. "We'll start setting up for the season after this round."


Vargas says he is getting close to where he needs to be for the opener.


"There are a few kinks I need to work out on putting people away," the left-hander said. "For the most part, we're right on pace."


Before he became a full-time pitcher at Long Beach State, Vargas was a designated hitter at Louisiana State University. He showed his hitting skills by ripping an RBI double in a five-run second inning.


"I was happy with my base hit," Vargas said. "I wasn't extremely happy with the way I threw the ball. But I was happy with the way I battled. I got people out when I needed to and prevented innings from going longer than they did."


Mitre's outing: While the rest of the team was off on Monday, Sergio Mitre was on the backfields at Roger Dean Stadium pitching in a Triple-A game against Cardinals Minor Leaguers to remain on a five-day throwing schedule.


The outing was going smoothly until the fourth inning, when Mitre was struck by a comeback hopper, which caught the knuckle area of his right thumb.


With some swelling and discoloration to his thumb, Mitre left the game as a precaution. It felt much better on Tuesday, and he is scheduled to make his next start, most likely on Saturday against the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale. His typical bullpen session between starts would be Wednesday, and the thumb isn't expected to delay that.


"In the fourth inning, a one-hopper came back and hit me on the hand. It's nothing bad," Mitre said. "They took me out just to make sure. It hit my finger, got my thumb. It kind of flared up a little bit, turned purple. Nothing too bad.


"It's still a little bit purple. I think it was just the bruise more than anything."


Mitre is contending for a rotation spot.


With regard to his overall Spring Training, Mitre said, "I've felt pretty good since I've been here. No complaints. My pitches are coming around pretty good. It's just a matter of being consistent."


In 10 innings of Grapefruit League action, Mitre has allowed two earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk. He's also hit a batter.


Like Mitre, Yusmeiro Petit also pitched on Monday, during a Double-A game on the backfields. Petit was struck in the rear end on a comeback grounder, but he remained in the game for four innings.


Looks like we may have our lineup, and the news on Mitre seems good, though the Petit thing was childishly amusing.


EDIT: Could a Mod delete one of these, my computer keeps going mental when I post a topic and sometimes does it twice, sorry.

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