Nolasco scratched from start

Nolasco scratched from start

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- As a precaution, Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco was scratched from a Grapefruit League start on Monday against the Orioles at Fort Lauderdale Stadium.

Nolasco is resting back spasms that first bothered him last Friday.

"It's nothing major," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It happened a couple of days ago, and we decided to scratch him."

Filling in was lefty Chris George, who has found himself in the mix for a possible rotation opening because of Josh Johnson's arm injury.

Nolasco will throw on the side either Tuesday or Wednesday, and if that goes well, he would be scheduled to make his next start, which would be Saturday against the Dodgers at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter.

Nolasco threw two scoreless innings of relief last Wednesday. Monday was going to be his first spring start.

The 24-year-old right-hander, who went 11-11 with a 4.82 ERA as a rookie in 2006, projects to be the Marlins' fourth starter.

George is a non-roster invitee who is vying for a spot. With Johnson facing a likely disabled-list stint to open the season, the Marlins already are down a projected starter.

In addition to George, Sergio Mitre, Yusmeiro Petit, Wes Obermueller and Jose Garcia are candidates for a rotation spot.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.