Miami's starting 5 'probably set,' barring the unforeseen

Rotation shaping up without surprises: Alvarez, Cosart, Latos, Haren and Koehler

Miami's starting 5 'probably set,' barring the unforeseen

JUPITER, Fla. -- Without formally announcing the Marlins' five-man rotation, manager Mike Redmond strongly indicated the starters are already set. Barring something unforeseen, there are no surprises.

Henderson Alvarez is likely to be the Opening Day starter, followed by Jarred Cosart, Mat Latos, Dan Haren and Tom Koehler.

"I'd say we're probably set with those five guys, but I would never say 100 percent that we're set, because you never know what will happen," Redmond said on Monday morning.

Miami has not yet announced its Opening Day starter, either. But the rotation has been shaping up with the five main candidates for a while.

But in recent games, the rotation has been under some scrutiny as Alvarez, Cosart and Koehler have had rough outings. In Grapefruit League play, Cosart's ERA is 8.49, while Alvarez is at 5.40 and Koehler at 4.50. Haren has been effective (1.93) and Latos entered Monday at 2.57.

Redmond isn't overly concerned with numbers.

"Part of Spring Training is not only building up your arm strength and your pitches," Redmond said, "it's working on things you're trying to sharpen up, whether it be Cosart working on his changeup, or guys working on secondary pitches they're trying to lock in for the season.

"I don't get overly excited about Spring Training outings. I look more at how they're executing pitches, whether they are keeping the ball down. We've missed up in the zone probably more than we have all spring, the last couple of starts for guys."

The Marlins like their rotation depth, as they have spot-start candidates in David Phelps and Brad Hand. Both project to throw out of the bullpen. Hand, mentioned in trade speculation, threw two innings of relief on Sunday.

As for the projected starting five, Redmond expects to see a more locked in mentality in their final Spring Training starts.

"I know when the lights go on and the adrenaline kicks in, these guys will be ready to go," Redmond said. "Spring Training gets kind of long and these guys are all working on things. I know that when the bell rings, we'll be ready to roll."

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.