Marlins 'comfortable' with personnel heading into camp

Organization interested in seeing non-roster invitee Barnes

Marlins 'comfortable' with personnel heading into camp

MIAMI -- When the Marlins begin Spring Training workouts on Tuesday in Jupiter, Fla., there will be no shortage of pitching candidates. In all, 63 players have been invited to big league camp, 33 being pitchers.

Miami has made it clear the emphasis will be on pitching, even to the point the club is planning on carrying 13 pitchers, with eight relievers, on their Opening Day roster.

"I think the positives and the pluses of having that extra bullpen piece outweigh going with a short bench," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "It might mean different things if you go deeper into games, but hopefully, with the added arm there, it will end [games] sooner."

The extra arm means manager Don Mattingly will likely be working with a four-man bench.

Perhaps that could change, but as of now, the Spring Training roster is firmly set. It's unlikely that Miami will add another position player, even as a non-roster invitee, before full-squad workouts get underway on Friday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

The Marlins did consider bringing back right-handed-hitting bench options Chris Johnson and Jeff Francoeur, but for now, chances of either signing -- even Minor League deals -- are slim.

A number of players have already arrived in South Florida, with many of them attending FanFest at Marlins Park on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, there is the final pre-Spring Training event, the fourth annual Jack McKeon Marlins Celebrity Golf Classic at Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne.

Marlins join fans at FanFest

After that, workouts will begin at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday in Jupiter.

Hill said the club continues to monitor the market for possible pickups, but an additional move may not come until before Opening Day, which is April 3 at Washington.

"It's a calculated risk on our part," Hill said. "But I think we're comfortable with where we sit right now. There's still players out there, and that's not to say we still may not do something before Opening Day."

The Marlins have internal bench options like right-handed-hitting outfielder Destin Hood and switch-hitting catcher Tomas Telis. Both are on the 40-man roster and have options.

"We have those guys who are on our roster and who have options who will be ready to go at Triple-A," Hill said. "But as we sit right now, we're very comfortable with the group we'll be going with on Tuesday."

Non-roster invitee Brandon Barnes is someone the organization is interested in seeing in Spring Training. The 30-year-old outfielder has 465 games of big league experience and 19 career home runs.

"Brandon Barnes is a very, very interesting extra outfielder," Hill said. "He's played in the big leagues. He's been a very productive bench player, so we have some pieces internally if things were to pop up. But we're always keeping one eye on what the market is, and who is still out there, because you never know when you might need to dip into that pool."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.