04/01/09 5:25 PM EST
Beinfest assesses team's state, needs
Lindstrom's shoulder, Amezaga's knee top club's concerns
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
A couple of injuries may factor in, and there are still a few spots up for grabs.
The two key injuries are closer Matt Lindstrom's strained right rotator cuff, and utility man Alfredo Amezaga's sprained left knee.
Indications are Lindstrom will be ready by Monday's opener, while Amezaga won't be ready for another week to 10 days once the season starts. At least, that's the forecast of Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.
"We're very optimistic that Matt is going to make it to Opening Day," Beinfest said.
The hard-throwing closer suffered the shoulder problem while pitching for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on March 15. He is scheduled to throw in a Minor League game on Thursday.
Amezaga, meanwhile, sprained his knee while playing in the Classic for Mexico. He is ahead of schedule in his recovery, yet he won't be pushed. Amezaga did infield drills with Florida's regulars during warmups on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.
"I don't think it's going to be Opening Day, but it should be shortly thereafter," Beinfest said. "I think a week to 10 days after Opening Day."
If Amezaga opens on the disabled list, the Marlins can back-date him to Friday, meaning he would be eligible to be activated on April 11. A 10-day window would make him available when Florida visits Atlanta from April 14-16.
Some bullpen positions remain open. The front-runners to be the two left-handed relievers are Renyel Pinto and Dan Meyer.
Both are out of options. Pinto enjoyed a strong first half of 2008. He appeared in 49 games before the All-Star break, and had an ERA of 2.96. In the second half, the wear and tear caught up to him, and his numbers in the second half included a 10.38 ERA in 18 appearances.
Meyer was an offseason pickup from the A's.
The right-handed bullpen spots project to go to Lindstrom, Leo Nunez, Logan Kensing and Hayden Penn, who was acquired on Wednesday from Baltimore for infielder Robert Andino.
Kiko Calero, Brian Sanches and Carlos Martinez are in the mix for one spot.
The bullpen has struggled in Spring Training, but the club feels there is plenty of talented arms to fill in relief.
"It's frustrating in that it's struggled at times," Beinfest said. "That's the frustrating part. It's not that we're not confident in them. They've got good arms and the weapons to get people out.
"Meyer's arm strength has really come back. He's been at 92-93 [mph]. That's encouraging. Big Pinto, he can get anybody out. It's a matter of consistently doing it."
Also on Wednesday, the Marlins acquired first baseman/outfielder Ross Gload plus cash from the Royals for a player to be named.
The Marlins are responsible for $400,000 of Gload's contract.
Florida had shown interest in outfielder/pinch-hit candidate Frank Catalanotto, who is not expected to make the Rangers' 25-man squad, but most likely will not pursue Catalanotto after Wednesday's acquisition of Gload.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.