JUPITER -- The Marlins appear as though they’re going to have to consider Plan B in center field — for the early part of spring training at the very least.
Justin Ruggiano, the favorite to win the starting job entering camp, has a strained lower back, according to manager Mike Redmond, who isn’t sure how long Ruggiano will be out.
“He’s getting treatments,’’ Redmond said. “We’re going to have to [list it] as day-to-day, see how that progresses.
“It’s always a concern when you get a guy that’s banged up early in spring training. Being that it’s so early, though, I’d rather have it now than two weeks left in spring training. But at the same time, too, those backs can be touchy.”
In the meantime, the Marlins have plenty of options to look at in center, Redmond said. Gorkys Hernandez, acquired from the Pirates last season in the Gaby Sanchez trade, will get the first start of the spring Saturday against the Cardinals.
“[ Bryan] Petersen, [ Chris] Coghlan, those guys can also go in there,” Redmond said. “We’ll mix guys in, [ Christian] Yelich and [ Jake] Marisnick. I’m going to get them in some games, too. I’d like to see them play. We got some other guys: [ Kevin] Mattison. We’ll try to mix guys in and out as much as we possibly can and see how it all shakes out.”
Hernandez led the Venezuelan Winter League with a .367 batting average and 15 steals in 226 at-bats but hit only .212 with three home runs and five stolen bases in 45 games for the Marlins after being traded.
“I’m working hard to have a good spring training and now that the games are beginning I have an opportunity to show the team what I can do,” Hernandez said. “I came to spring training to win a job.”
• Redmond wasn’t ready to reveal his batting order just yet, but he shared his lineup for Saturday’s opener: Juan Pierre will start in left field; Hernandez in center; Giancarlo Stanton in right; Placido Polanco at third base; Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop; Donovan Solano at second base; Joe Mahoney at first base; Jeff Mathis behind the plate and Rule V pick Alfredo Silverio serving as designated hitter. Veteran right-hander John Maine will start.
All Redmond would say about his batting order was that Stanton would hit third. Redmond said Stanton will be leaving March 3 to join Team USA in Phoenix.
“We’ve got to get him ready for the [World Baseball] Classic,” Redmond said. “He needs to get in there and get as many at-bats as he can so he’s comfortable when he’s ready to leave here. He needs to feel like he’s ready to play and play a full game.”
• Saturday: Marlins RHP John Maine (8-5, 4.97 ERA in Triple A in 2012) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Trevor Rosenthal (8-6, 2.79 in minors), 1:05 p.m. Jupiter.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-14, 4.85) at Washington Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmerman (12-8, 2.94), 1:05 p.m. Viera.
• Monday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-5, 3.67) at Atlanta Braves RHP Kris Medlen (10-1, 1.57), 1:05 p.m. Kissimmee.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-13, 4.48 ERA) vs. Mets TBA, 1:05 p.m. Jupiter.