The Miami Marlins have until Sunday to make it official.
There may be 33 players remaining on their Spring Training roster, but essentially the 25-man roster for Opening Day has been set and all that is left is to push through until Opening Day when Edinson Volquez takes the bump against the Washington Nationals.
Opening Day has such a nice ring to it. It should be a national holiday as far as I am concerned.
The decisions of who stays and who goes haven’t been easy for manager Don Mattingly and his coaching staff, but the majority of the same faces that started this journey last season – his first in south Florida – will carry on in the same manner this year.
As Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wrote, nothing is official. For now, Mattingly is not ready to officially declare who is staying and who is going.
"If somebody gets hurt, or something else, it could change something up until Saturday," Mattingly said Wednesday morning. "You get a guy who all of a sudden gets hit by a pitch; or a pitcher, something happens to him. It kind of flips things."
Mattingly did add that the organization has informed the players of where they stand.
"We've tried to communicate with all the guys and let them know that they're not going to be traveling," Mattingly said. "They have families and have to make plans. Am I going to New Orleans or am I going to D.C.? Or do I have to find a place in Miami?"
Sometimes, the waiting is the hardest part. The first pitch is within sight, and the sounds of fans in the stands and the crack of the bat are cathartic to most. For some, it’s a rite of passage that spring has sprung and the world is aligned properly. Baseball is back. The Marlins are ready to make their run at the playoffs.
Of the 33 players, three are expected to open the season on the disabled list: third baseman Martin Prado (right hamstring), left-hander Jeff Locke (left biceps tendinitis) and right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (oblique).
Catchers Ramon Cabrera and Carlos Paulino are still with the club, but mainly as depth for the remaining spring games.
So that leaves three non-roster invitees -- Tyler Moore, Brandon Barnes and Matt den Dekker -- vying for one bench spot. It would appear Moore will get the nod, according to Frisaro.
The Marlins are carrying 13 pitchers, with eight relievers. All those spots appear set. When it was announced that Justin Nicolino was being sent back to New Orleans in Triple-A it meant Adam Conley almost assuredly won the fifth starter spot and Jose Urena made the roster as a long reliever. The move allows the team to keep Urena, who is out of minor league options.
The team will also keep a close look at Tomas Telis, Dillon Peters and Brian Anderson – all three could be in south Florida before the organization ends the season.