04/08/10 10:49 PM EST
Young talent on tap for opener in Florida
In their home opener Friday night, the Marlins will be trotting out some impressive young players, including one of the best in all of baseball in All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez.
But the visiting Dodgers can say much the same thing, so there will be plenty of exciting talent on display this weekend at Sun Life Stadium as Florida opens its home schedule.
The two teams square off for the first of a three-game series at 7:10 p.m. ET, with 23-year-old right-hander Chris Volstad making his 2010 debut with the Marlins, matched against Dodgers veteran Hiroki Kuroda. The Marlins finished off a series win over the Mets at Citi Field with a 3-1 victory Thursday night, and the Dodgers avoided a three-game sweep in Pittsburgh on Thursday afternoon by beating the Pirates, 10-2.
For Volstad, it's a special thrill to start a home opener.
"That's probably the next best thing to being the Opening Day starter is opening at home," Volstad said. "That will be pretty cool. I'll have family come down. It's a different thing from what I have done before."
The Dodgers will have some questions heading into the series because one of their young stars, outfielder Andre Ethier, was held out of Thursday's game after rolling his left ankle the night before and was replaced in right field by veteran Garret Anderson. Ethier will be evaluated before Friday's game. In the meantime, Dodgers manager Joe Torre says his roster has ample depth.
"Our parts are interchangeable," Torre said this week.
Dodgers: Kuroda adjusts for first start
Kuroda is coming off four scoreless innings on one hit against the Angels last Saturday in relief of Chad Billingsley in the final exhibition game. So when Kuroda, who went 8-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 20 starts and a relief outing last year, did his between-starts workout, he went after it a bit harder. "Because there's an extra day between my starts, I made an adjustment today with more throws and a higher level of intensity on flat ground today," said Kuroda. "My pitch count was really low, so I felt I needed a little more intensity in my final workout. I wanted to be a little bit tighter, because I haven't pitched in a game in a long time."
Marlins: Sanchez pushed to Sunday outing
With Josh Johnson going on his normal fifth day after a rough Opening Day start, Anibal Sanchez's first start of 2010 is now pushed back to Sunday. "I am feeling good," Sanchez said. "The most important thing is I'm healthy." Sanchez was available to pitch out of the bullpen on Wednesday.
The Marlins and Dodgers split their six meetings last season, each taking two of three games in the other team's ballpark. ... Cody Ross went 4-for-8 with two doubles and two homers when the Dodgers came to town last year, and went 1-for-3 vs. Kuroda in L.A. ... Casey Blake had a homer off Volstad when the two teams met in Florida last year.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.