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.

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.

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.

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.