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Olsen named fifth starter despite brief AAA trip


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From MLB.com:

 

Marlins' roster coming into focus

 

JUPITER, Fla. -- How the Marlins' final 25-man roster will shake down came much more into focus on Wednesday afternoon.

 

The Marlins made four roster moves that pretty much set all but a couple of bullpen jobs.

 

Early in the morning, the club informed pinch-hit specialist Lenny Harris and reliever Kerry Ligtenberg that they would not make the team. So both asked for and were granted their release. Also, infielder Mike Kinkade was reassigned to Minor League camp.

 

The final move is a bit tricky, and it doesn't totally reflect the club's intentions. Left-hander Scott Olsen was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. However, his Minor League stint will be a brief one, because manager Joe Girardi announced Olsen will be the Marlins' fifth starter.

 

Due to two early off-days, the Marlins are going with a four-man rotation until April 15, when they take on the Nationals in Miami. Olsen will throw a simulated game for Albuquerque on April 5, and he will start for the Isotopes on April 10 at Omaha.

 

The plan for now is to bring Olsen back to the Marlins shortly after the April 10 outing to get him ready for April 15.

 

"It's a little bit of a relief," Olsen said of having his situation resolved. "Keep in mind, if you don't perform well, there are two guys in the bullpen who can be starters and take my job, not to mention countless guys in the Minors who can come in and take your job. You have to work at it every day."

 

The Marlins are leaning heavily toward keeping 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, two starters in their Minor League careers, are expected to be carried as relievers. And it isn't out of the question that the 6-foot-7 Johnson could eventually be used as the closer, should he respond in early season performances.

 

The only non-roster invitee assured of making the club is reliever Matt Herges, who has pretty much locked up a setup relief role. Joe Borowski, a free agent pickup, is the front-runner to close, although Girardi said that spot may be determined by matchups.

 

"Anything is possible, but we pretty much have the 25-man roster," Girardi said. "We probably won't announce it until we leave, in case something comes up."

 

The Marlins also are planning to start Miguel Olivo at catcher, at least for Monday's Opening Day at Houston. Olivo has caught Dontrelle Willis' last two Spring Training games.

 

Josh Willingham, who will split time behind the plate with Olivo, will start the opener in left field. Matt Treanor now has a strong shot of making the team, as the Marlins essentially will go with 2 1/2 catchers.

 

The four-man rotation now is set, with Willis, Sergio Mitre and Brian Moehler taking the mound for the series against the Astros. After a day off on April 6, Jason Vargas will face the Mets on April 7 at Shea Stadium.

 

Parting with Harris, baseball's all-time pinch-hit leader with 312, was a tough call. At 41, Harris is a Miami native and a popular clubhouse presence.

 

"I don't like this part of the job; you can have it," Girardi said. "It comes with the territory."

 

Regarding Harris, Girardi added: "He's put in a lot of great years of service. It's hard to tell someone like Lenny, 'You are not going to go with us when the games start.'"

 

Ligtenberg enjoyed a solid spring, but he felt his days were numbered with the club about a week ago. When the team traded for reliever Todd Wellemeyer on Tuesday, it was another indicator Ligtenberg may not make the club.

 

"I wasn't 100 percent sure, but I was leaning that way," Ligtenberg said. "For these guys, they want to get these young guys experience. They want to go with a young staff. For me, they wanted me to go to Albuquerque. I just think, if I were a GM looking at the situation, I would say, 'Why would I call this guy up?' [as] opposed to saying, 'Why not call up Logan [Kensing]?' I've been around long enough to know my best chance is being on a contender or with someone trying to win."

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The Marlins are leaning heavily toward keeping 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, two starters in their Minor League careers, are expected to be carried as relievers. And it isn't out of the question that the 6-foot-7 Johnson could eventually be used as the closer, should he respond in early season performances.

 

The only non-roster invitee assured of making the club is reliever Matt Herges, who has pretty much locked up a setup relief role. Joe Borowski, a free agent pickup, is the front-runner to close, although Girardi said that spot may be determined by matchups.

 

"Anything is possible, but we pretty much have the 25-man roster," Girardi said. "We probably won't announce it until we leave, in case something comes up."

 

I am going to be very disappointed if the Marlins choose to convert JJ to a closer before giving him a shot at starting on a regular basis in the bigs.

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The Marlins are leaning heavily toward keeping 12 pitchers and 13 position players. Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco, two starters in their Minor League careers, are expected to be carried as relievers. And it isn't out of the question that the 6-foot-7 Johnson could eventually be used as the closer, should he respond in early season performances.

 

The only non-roster invitee assured of making the club is reliever Matt Herges, who has pretty much locked up a setup relief role. Joe Borowski, a free agent pickup, is the front-runner to close, although Girardi said that spot may be determined by matchups.

 

"Anything is possible, but we pretty much have the 25-man roster," Girardi said. "We probably won't announce it until we leave, in case something comes up."

 

I am going to be very disappointed if the Marlins choose to convert JJ to a closer before giving him a shot at starting on a regular basis in the bigs.

 

I hope everyone will get their opportunities. Realistically, some of these guys are not going to be able to start for us, we just have too many pitchers. However ideally they'll all get enough innings where the coaching staff can get a better idea of what they've got, who's most ready, & who has the most potential.

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Guest Juanky

I don't get why Joe's putting Moehler as the #3 starter and Vargas as #4.

I don't understand it either.....he's going to go with three straight lefties (Vargas to Olsen to Trelle) 20+ times a year? That doesn't sound terribly wise.

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I don't get why Joe's putting Moehler as the #3 starter and Vargas as #4.

I don't understand it either.....he's going to go with three straight lefties (Vargas to Olsen to Trelle) 20+ times a year? That doesn't sound terribly wise.

I doubt Olsen goes the whole year as a starter and that Vargas occupies the 4th slot the whole year. Everything happening with the rotation minus Willis as the #1 should be considered temporary.

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I don't get why Joe's putting Moehler as the #3 starter and Vargas as #4.

I don't understand it either.....he's going to go with three straight lefties (Vargas to Olsen to Trelle) 20+ times a year? That doesn't sound terribly wise.

 

When Olsen pitches on the 15th against the Nats he will actually be inserted into the 3rd spot in the rotation.

 

The rotation will become Willis, Mitre, Olsen, Moehler, Vargas..... L R L R L

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When Olsen pitches on the 15th against the Nats he will actually be inserted into the 3rd spot in the rotation.

 

The rotation will become Willis, Mitre, Olsen, Moehler, Vargas..... L R L R L

 

 

I like it.. I have already learned to trust in Joe Girardi.. until he proves otherwise.

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No suprise, just hopefully it's not too long before Nolasco and Johnson take Moehler and Mitre's spots.

 

 

Once the season gets going, the order of the rotation means very little because each team is at a different point in their rotation anyway; however, for the first few weeks or so, if means taking some pressure off Vargas by letting him pitch against other teams 4th starters, I think the decision is reasonable.

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