Marlins' Opening Day roster coming into focus

Marlins' Opening Day roster coming into focus

JUPITER, Fla. -- After six weeks of intense competition, the Marlins' final bench spots are now set. In the next day or two, so will the spots in the bullpen.

How the Opening Day roster will shape up is now coming into focus. On Tuesday morning, reliever Nick Masset was released, while outfielders Tyler Colvin and Cole Gillespie, along with infielder Reid Brignac, were reassigned to Minor League camp.

The Marlins now have 30 in camp, but of the group, outfielder Jordany Valdespin and catcher Jhonatan Solano were informed they will start off at Triple-A New Orleans. The two were non-roster invitees who didn't have out clauses.

Brignac, Colvin and Gillespie each had outs, and likely will explore other options.

"It's been a tough couple of days," manager Mike Redmond said. "I think we all knew that it would be, trying to figure out these last couple of bench spots. We had great competition in spring."

The team also informed infielders Donovan Solano and Don Kelly that they both will be on the Opening Day roster. Solano is a right-handed hitter, while Kelly, a non-roster invitee, bats lefty.

Kelly got the nod over Brignac mainly because he also plays outfield, first base and can also be an emergency catcher.

"You look at Donovan and what he's been able to do for us the last couple of years," Redmond said. "It seems like every year he goes out and becomes a starter at a position, and he gets big hits. He deserves to be on this ballclub.

"Kelly is the same. But you can add all the outfield positions, plus emergency catcher, pinch-runner, first base."

Miami will carry 13 position players. Their regulars will be catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman Michael Morse, second baseman Dee Gordon, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, third baseman Martin Prado, left fielder Christian Yelich, center fielder Marcell Ozuna and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton.

On the bench will be catcher Jeff Mathis, infielder Jeff Baker, outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, Solano and Kelly.

The rotation will be: Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Tom Koehler, Dan Haren and Jarred Cosart. The locks in the bullpen are Steve Cishek, A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, Mike Dunn, Brad Hand and David Phelps.

The final bullpen spot likely will go to Sam Dyson, because Aaron Crow is dealing with a sore right elbow, which is expected to land him on the disabled list. Jose Fernandez (Tommy John surgery) also will start the season on the DL.

Miami's Rule 5 pick, lefty Andrew McKirahan, was placed on waivers on Monday. His status is expected to be finalized by 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

"We had guys who had great springs," Redmond said. "At the same time, too, they all want to be a part of it. I think they all know how exciting this team is, and how much fun we have. They want to be a part of it."

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.