Castro Fails to Make the Team; Millar at First

Despite being penciled in as the Marlins’ starting catcher, Ramon Castro failed in his effort to remain with the major league club and was optioned to AAA Calgary. The 24 year old, viewed as the team’s catcher of the future, was supposed to start for the team, even if he struggled. But the success of Mike Redmond and Sandy Martinez, and the preference of the starting pitchers doomed Castro, who struggled this spring. Manager John Boles announced that the the club is “done with that nonsense …. We spent last year protecting people. We want to win.” Mark Smith, the team’s best hitter this spring, was sent to the minor league camp because the team could not find room for him on the major league roster. The move guarantees that Derrek Lee will make the team as a bench player, since Kevin Millar was named the starting first baseman. Brant Brown appears to have edged Mark Kotsay for the starting right-field job. Reid Cornelius was also sent to AAA Calgary.

Pat Redmond Passes Away

Pat Redmond, the father of Marlins catcher Mike Redmond, passed away from stomach cancer. Last week, Marlins owner John Henry flew in Redmond to spend several days with his son in spring training. Mike will be back with the team on Saturday.

Edmondson Out For Season

Brian Edmondson will be out for the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Edmondson struggled this spring and was probably headed to AAA Calgary.

Starting Rotation Set

What was obvious last week became official: the Marlins rotation. Alex Fernandez will start opening day against San Francisco. He will be followed by Ryan Dempster, Vladimir Nunez, Jesus Sanchez, and rookie Brad Penny.

Marlins Claim Derrick Gibson

The Marlins claimed outfielder Derrick Gibson when the Colorado Rockies ran out of options on him. Gibson was ranked 81st in Baseball America’s top 100 list. He is the ninth Marlin on the list, more than any other team. The Marlins must keep Gibson on their major league roster or risk losing him to another team on waivers.

Roster Trimmed to 31

Hector Almonte, Amaury Garcia, and Julio Ramirez were optioned to AAA Calgary. Pablo Ozuna was sent to AA Portland while Chris Clapinski, Jason Grili and Chris Tremie were sent to the Minor League camp.

Marlins Trim Major League Roster

Nate Rolison was assigned to AAA Calgary while Scott Comer, Brandon Harper, Joe Funaro, Mendy Lopez, Sean McNally, Abraham Nunez, and Matt Treanor were sent to the minor league camp.

Mumps Everywhere

Alex Fernandez, Dan Miceli, Armando Almanza, and Brant Brown have all exhibited mumps-like symptoms. Antonio Alfonseca is the only team member who has actually been diagnosed with mumps. Even a local writer, Israel Gutierrez, who covers the Marlins for the Palm Beach Post was diagnosed with the virus.

5 Sent to Minor Leagues

Josh Beckett was optioned to Single-A Kane County. Joe Fontenot was sent to AAA Calgary, Nelson Lara was sent to AA Portland and Ryan Robertson and Claudio Vargas were reassigned to the minor-league camp.

Burnett Out 10-12 Weeks

A.J. Burnett ruptured a ligament in his right thumb during a fielding practice. He will be out 10-12 weeks. Burnett, 23, was penciled in as the Marlins’ 4th starter. Brad Penny and Jesus Sanchez, the leaders for the 5th spot in the rotation, are likely to both make the rotation.

Marlins 10 – Detroit 5: Penny and Millar Dominate

Brad Penny continued his dominant march into the Marlins’ major league pitching rotation with four scoreless innings allowing only one hit in a 10-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Kevin Millar connected on his team leading third homerun of the spring and drove in three, bringing his spring total to eight. Brant Brown, Sandy Martinez, and Julio Ramirez added homeruns.

Tampa 6 – Marlins 5

Former Marlins Randy Winn hit a three-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth off Armando Almanza, giving the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a 6-5 win over the Marlins. Alex Fernandez pitched the first two innings of the Spring Training opener, allowing three runs. All of the Marlins’ runs were unearned.

Marlins 10 – Baltimore 8: Rolison Homer Lift Marlins

Nate Rolison hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Marlins to a 10-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Mike Lowell had a strong performance, going 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBI. Hector Almonte struggled in particular, allowing four runs in two innings. Luis Castillo pulled his right hamstring in the first inning.

All Players Signed

The Marlins completed re-signing all of the players on the 40 man roster. Derrek Lee signed for $225,000, a $40,000 salary cut. Should Lee fail to make the major league roster, he would earn $204,000. Luis Castillo signed for $390,000 while Mark Kotsay settled for $324,000. Mike Redmond signed for $245,000. The Marlins payroll stands at $19 million.