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today's Sentinel:


Olsen gets another start


Rotation may have 3 lefties in succession


By Juan C. Rodriguez - South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted March 27 2006


JUPITER ? Save for Dontrelle Willis, manager Joe Girardi has been vague about his starting rotation.


Based on how guys currently are slotted, the Marlins' probable starters for the season-opening series at Houston are Willis, Sergio Mitre and Brian Moehler.


Moehler, who pitched in a minor league game last Friday, won't make his next start until this Friday. That lines him up for an April 5 outing against the Astros. Willis and Mitre each have one more exhibition appearance remaining on Wed-nesday and Thursday, respectively.


Vargas looks like he's headed for an April 7 season debut against the Mets.


After watching him hold the Cardinals to a run on three hits, over 51/3 innings in Sunday's 9-1 win, Girardi said left-hander Scott Olsen would get another start as well. The only available big-league game is Saturday, when the Marlins play the second of two exhibition games against the Rangers in Texas.


The Marlins would then have to find a way to get Vargas 90-plus pitches on Sunday in preparation for his series-opening outing against the Mets.


One curious part about this alignment is the prospect of having three left-handers back-to-back-to-back in Vargas, Olsen and Willis. But with four April off days, how much the Marlins even use a fifth starter the opening month is speculative.


Keeping their top four on regular rest, the Marlins wouldn't need a No. 5 guy until April 15 and again on April 25.


"You could have two or three lefties in the rotation and early on I'm not going to worry about if it's back-to-back," Girardi said. "Sometimes you look at matchups. We'll try to spread them out as time goes on."


Girardi has not decided whether to use five different starters the first five games or bring Willis back on regular rest to face the Mets on April 8.


"We'll all know soon enough," said Olsen, after lowering his spring ERA to 2.75 over five starts (192/3 innings. "We only have a week left ... I like my chances. I'll do whatever is best for the team. I'd like to start and I think the outings I've had in spring training can at least validate me starting for a while."


I'm not sure I see the point in this talk about not needing a 5th starter for a while. It's not like we have chopped liver down there. I'd want to get everyone a start. Even if the starters work on an extra day of rest, what's the problem? Besides why would you skip a Scott Olsen or Josh Johnson a few times through, while using Moehler and Mitre? Not sure I agree with that, but whatever. And I sure as heck wouldn't line up 3 lefties back to back. :blink: Eh, hopefully it'll all work itself out.



Assuming Olsen is the fifth starter, and Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson start in the bullpen, the Marlins have four spots for six guys. They are all but certain to initially carry 12 pitchers.

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