Volquez to start Saturday's spring opener

Marlins host Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET at Roger Dean Stadium

Volquez to start Saturday's spring opener

JUPITER, Fla. -- It won't take long for the Marlins to get a look at their primary offseason free-agent acquisition. Right-hander Edinson Volquez is scheduled to start for Miami in its Grapefruit League opener at 1:05 p.m. ET on Saturday against the Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

The 33-year-old right-hander signed a two-year, $22 million deal with the Marlins in December, brought in to add experience at the top of the rotation. Tom Koehler is also lined up to pitch an inning.

"We'll have a number of guys backing up," manager Don Mattingly said.

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Volquez will go at least one, maybe two frames. It depends on how the game shapes up.

"I've been throwing live BP, like 34 pitches, so I should be good," Volquez said. "I'm pretty healthy. I feel good. I'm getting close to the guys I didn't know before."

The Marlins are still putting together their early Spring Training rotation, but Mattingly added that right-hander Dan Straily is likely to face the Cardinals on Sunday, with lefty Adam Conley to follow.

Miami and St. Louis share the Roger Dean Stadium complex. The Marlins are the home team on Saturday, and the visitors on Sunday.

The Marlins travel to Fort Myers on Monday to face the Twins. Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino are scheduled to pitch. On Tuesday, at Roger Dean Stadium against the Mets, Wei-Yin Chen is the likely starter.

Mattingly has not announced his Opening Day starter, but Volquez is a strong candidate. The veteran started the Royals' opener in 2016 after being part of Kansas City's World Series championship club in '15.

Volquez could start Opening Day

The right-hander will also be leaving Marlins camp in early March to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

"We've still got to get him ready, and we'll still try to progress him," Mattingly said. "He will get three outings before he goes."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. 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.