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Several Marlins regulars to get nod in spring opener


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JUPITER, Fla. -- After 11 straight days of working on fundamentals, the Marlins are ready for some game action. They'll get their first test on Saturday against the club they share the Roger Dean Stadium complex.


The Marlins open their Grapefruit League schedule at 1:05 p.m. ET as the home team against the Cardinals. The game will be shown on MLB.TV. Edinson Volquez gets the starting pitching nod, and a majority of the regulars -- including Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton -- are scheduled to start.


Manager Don Mattingly hasn't announced his Opening Day starter, but he hinted early in Spring Training that Volquez is the most experienced and has the longest track record.


Mattingly noted that he will try to get the regulars who will be competing in the World Baseball Classic some extra work in the first several games. Stanton, Yelich and catcher A.J. Ellis will be playing for Team USA, while Martin Prado is on the Venezuelan squad and Volquez will pitch for the Dominican Republic.


"We've kind of worked out a plan to get them a few extra at-bats and get them ready for the WBC," Mattingly said. "Other than that, I'll take my time with some guys."


Left fielder Marcell Ozuna, however, is getting the day off on Saturday, partly because he's dealing with some right shoulder tightness.


"When he first came in, he had a little bit of shoulder tightness with his throwing," Mattingly said. "I just wanted to give him an extra day. It's pretty much as simple as that with him."


Mattingly's first lineup is:

1. Gordon 2B

2. Prado 3B

3. Yelich CF

4. Stanton RF

5. Justin Bour 1B

6. J.T. Realmuto C

7. Destin Hood LF

8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS

9. Ellis DH


"We've got a pretty good team," Volquez said. "We've got a lot of young guys in here that can play. I pitched against these guys last year. I know this is a team that can compete with the other teams."


Along with Volquez, the Marlins will go with Tom Koehler, who is expected to throw an inning. Dustin McGowan, Jake Esch, Nick Wittgren, Severino Gonzalez, Scott Copeland and lefty Hunter Cervenka are also scheduled to throw.





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