Marlins' Truck Day signals camp's imminent arrival

Marlins' Truck Day signals camp's imminent arrival

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins' road to Spring Training started Monday in Miami with two trucks heading north to Roger Dean Stadium. The first completed its two-hour trek around 12:40 p.m. ET, while the second pulled into the complex about 90 minutes later.

Pitchers and catchers technically get underway on Feb. 20, but the team's equipment manager, John Silverman, and his staff are already getting the clubhouse in order.

The wheels were set in motion on Monday, which was Miami's "Truck Day." Two 24-foot trucks were loaded at Marlins Park, and by mid-afternoon, they were unpacked at the team's Spring Training facility.

Bats, bins, bags filled with baseballs, helmets and crates of uniforms were among the items transported. Also squeezed on the truck were pitching machines and refrigerated coolers.

Truck Day for the Marlins is a bit different than for most clubs, which are traveling from other states to either Florida or Arizona.

With its proximity to Jupiter, the team already has plenty of gear in both locations. Still, Monday was a day of heavy lifting.

After enjoying one of their busiest and most productive offseasons in years, the Marlins are now getting ready for some baseball. In 11 days, pitchers and catchers take the field, with full-squad workouts to follow on Feb. 24.

Miami has made an number of high-profile additions during the Hot Stove season, acquiring second baseman Dee Gordon, right-handers Dan Haren and Mat Latos and infielder Martin Prado in trades. The club has also signed free-agent outfielders Michael Morse and Ichiro Suzuki.

The Marlins set the tone for their busy offseason by signing Giancarlo Stanton to a record 13-year, $325 million contract.

"We're very happy with what we were able to accomplish this offseason," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said recently. "We're looking to starting our Ayudan [Caravan] Week, and Spring Training shortly after."

Ayudan Week begins on Sunday, and the Winter Warm-Up is Feb. 21 at Marlins Park. Individual game tickets go on sale that day.

Players are starting to filter into South Florida, with several pitchers and catchers already training in Jupiter.

"Obviously, the first statement move was signing Stanton," closer Steve Cishek said recently. "Everyone was wanting to see what we'd do after that. The team looks awesome. I can't wait to get started."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.