MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins will finish off their spring training/exhibition schedule Monday night with a final game against the New York Yankees. The game will also be the final dress rehearsal for Marlins Park before the season opener Wednesday night against St. Louis.
The Marlins will send Carlos Zambrano to the mound Monday night to try and knock out the Yanks. Zambrano’s last outing saw him give up three runs on five hits and five walks over four innings of work. Zambrano struggled in spring with an 8.03 ERA and a 0-1 record.
The lineup the Yankees face Monday will likely be most of the lineup that will play Wednesday against the Cardinals. The Marlins batting order will look like this:
- Jose Reyes, SS
- Emilio Bonifacio, CF
- Hanley Ramirez, 3B
- Giancarlo Stanton, RF
- Logan Morrison, LF
- Gaby Sanchez, 1B
- Greg Dobbs, DH
- Omar Infante, 2B
- John Buck, C
For National League action, Dobbs will be replaced by the pitcher who will bat ninth and move Infante and Buck up in the order.
Overall this spring, the new look Miami Marlins finished with an 11-12-4 record. The Marlins record was the eighth-best in the National League and ninth-best in the Grapefruit league overall.
But perhaps the best news coming out of spring training was the health of Josh Johnson and the hitting of Hanley Ramirez.
Johnson had the third-lowest ERA (2.42) among pitchers making six starts in the Grapefruit League. He was also tied for fifth in the Majors with 24 strikeouts this spring. Johnson’s return could go a long way towards finally fortifying the rotation after last year’s disastrous campaign.
All eyes have been on Ramirez since the team signed Jose Reyes to play his old position of shortstop. From all reports, Ramirez and Reyes have become fast friends and Hanley has taken to his new position well.
But after struggling at the plate last year, Hanley came out swinging in spring training. In 19 games, Ramirez his .388 and tied for the team lead in home runs with three.
Johnson and Ramirez are the cornerstones of the franchise and if both are healthy for the full season, the Marlins have a great shot of contending for one of the two wildcard spots in the playoffs. If everything falls into place with the rotation, the Marlins could have one of the best in the National League behind Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Monday’s game will be the final test for the Marlins before the defending world champions come to town Wednesday night to open the regular season. If you are heading out to the park, be ready to deal with parking issues because all of the on-site parking is already sold out.