Marlins, Redmond zeroing in on 25-man roster

Manager says depth, competition have made decisions tougher

Marlins, Redmond zeroing in on 25-man roster

JUPITER, Fla. -- Barring anything unexpected, the Marlins anticipate having their Opening Day roster set when they finish up Grapefruit League play on Wednesday.

Miami has 36 players in camp right now, and will have to get down to 25 by Opening Day on April 6 when it hosts the Braves at Marlins Park. However, there should be more clarity on who will ultimately be with the club in the next few days.

"I anticipate us probably being set in these next few days," manager Mike Redmond said.

Even though there are 36 players on the current roster, it really is 35 when you take into consideration Jose Fernandez will open the season on the disabled list. So that means 10 moves must still be made.

Up for grabs are one or two spots on the bench and in the bullpen.

"There are some tough decisions, and no-doubt, some big ones," Redmond said. "Bench spots. How are we going to fill those spots, and pitching, too? We've talked about [how] having much deeper, stronger players in the organization has made those decisions tougher. That's what you want. You want to have that depth, and strength in players, and competition."

In contention for bench roles are non-roster invitees Reid Brignac, Don Kelly, Cole Gillespie and Jordany Valdespin. Donovan Solano, on the 40-man roster, also is in the mix.

In the bullpen, the competition also is heating up between Preston Claiborne, Sam Dyson, Aaron Crow, Nick Masset and Andrew McKirahan.

Brad Hand was among the pitchers who threw in a Minor League game on Saturday. The lefty was scheduled to start on Friday against the Astros in Kissimmee, Fla., but the game was rained out. Hand is projected to make the club in a long relief role.

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.