Marlins Notebook

Miami Marlins’ regular lineup is taking shape

 

Special to The Miami Herald

The Marlins’ lineup shuffled again in Tuesday’s 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

But manager Mike Redmond is feeling like things are close to coming together for his club as the final week of spring play is on the horizon.

“We’re going to start playing guys a little bit longer. We have a couple of guys who’ve been banged up that we need to get more at-bats for: [ Justin] Ruggiano, [ Greg] Dobbs and [ Placido] Polanco,” he said. “I still feel like we have time to get them in.”

The noted players will go in back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday, and the team will have an off day Thursday.

“We’ll play it by ear after that. ... That last week, I’d like to play a regular lineup as many days as we can,” Redmond said.

Opting to get a recently returned Dobbs some additional at-bats, the Marlins bumped a productive Rob Brantly down to sixth in the order. The backstop is hitting .286 with 10 hits in 13 games.

Brantly was on deck with two men on and watched an early opportunity to drive in runs vanish as Donovan Solano struck out to end the first. The Marlins didn’t have another man on base until the sixth inning. Brantly was instrumental in Sunday’s victory over the Cardinals with his three RBI.

A.J. Ramos and Steve Cishek played across the complex in a minor-league game against the Cardinals, having missed out on work because of Monday’s rainout.

Hechavarria ready

One staple for the 2013 roster is shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who the Marlins acquired in the blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays. Hechavarria will get his first look as an everyday player in the Miami lineup.

Though he comes with a flashy glove, the infielder hasn’t boasted big numbers at the plate. He did single in Tuesday’s game, driving in Solano.

“I know everybody looks at the batting average, but I look at the quality of at-bats and the hard-hit balls,” Redmond said. “Obviously, you come into a new situation, I’m sure there’s a little bit of trying to impress everybody, and he has.”

The Cuban-born Hechavarria comes with just 41 major-league games under his belt. He made his debut with Toronto as a third baseman — a position he had never played before. He had 32 hits and as many strikeouts in 126 at-bats with the Blue Jays.

“I know that he’s excited about the opportunity that he has being an everyday player in the big leagues, and spring training is sometimes a tough time for guys,” Redmond said. “I’m excited for when the lights come on to see what he can do, when the games really count and the pressure’s on.”

Redmond said the club will monitor the young player’s transition to his new role in a new league. He’s hitting .175 in 15 games with three walks and six strikeouts.

• Outfielder Bryan Petersen was reassigned to minor-league camp after the team’s morning on-field warmup Tuesday.

COMING UP

•  Wednesday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Chris Young, 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.

•  Thursday: Off day.

•  Friday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-0, 4.70) vs. New York Mets (TBA), 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.

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