The Miami Marlins made Mike Redmond a winner in his debut as manager with an 8-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. The game was the first of the Grapefruit League season for both clubs. Miami received some bad news however as backup catcher Jeff Mathis was lost for six weeks with a broken right collarbone. The catcher acquired from Toronto injured the collarbone on a foul tip.
Alfredo Silverio blasted a solo homerun in a game where he manned the designated hitter spot. Silverio is expected to open the year on the disabled list as he is still unable to play the field due to Tommy John surgery last year. Offensive displays like Saturday’s will only increase the likelihood that Miami gives Silverio every chance to stay on the big league roster once healthy. In addition to Silverio’s homerun, the Marlins saw contributions from a handful of other players as the team combined for eleven hits. Of note, Giancarlo Stanton had two runs batted in while Juan Pierre tripled and scored two runs of his own. Prosects Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Jake Marisnick had a hit a piece. All three are expected to start the year in AA Jacksonville.
Jeff Mathis was forced to leave the game in the fourth inning after taking a foul tip off his collarbone. Kyle Skipworth will be the likely replacement for Mathis as the veteran catcher is not expected to be ready in time for the season opener. Skipworth who was once a top prospect for Miami has not seen time in the major leagues as of yet but did display flashy defense and power at the plate in 2012. J.T. Realmuto would be another possible option for Miami who may opt to look outside the organization as well for a backup catcher. The Marlins lack depth at the backstop position, something that has plagued the franchise in years past as well.
John Maine who is trying to land the fifth starting rotation spot started the game and went two innings in which he struck out one and walked one. The veteran right-hander allowed one run and one hit — both on a solo blast. Brad Hand struggled mightily in his 2013 debut walking four and allowing two runs before being bailed out by Steve Cishek who is expected to close for Miami this year. Cishek entered with the bases loaded and struck out the only batter he faced in the frame. The right-hander then stayed in for another inning of work which he put together in scoreless fashion.
Miami will take on the Washington Nationals on Sunday in Viera with Henderson Alvarez scheduled to make the start.