With just 10 days remaining before their historic opener at the new ballpark in Little Havana, the Miami Marlins received some very encouraging news Saturday regarding the projected middle of their batting order.
"It feels good."
Those three words from both Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison are music to the ears of fans who have been concerned about their respective right- and left-field stars.
Both have missed most of spring training with knee inflammations, and their being out of the Opening Night lineup against the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals would have been a major downer in what will be an incredible atmosphere with a national audience.
Stanton figures to be penciled in at the cleanup spot, while Morrison will check in at No. 5 in the lineup -- provided their knees are okay -- when the bell rings on Wednesday, April 4 in what will be a scene of wild celebration in the Magic City.
The Opening Night lineup would then have the following look: Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, Hanley Ramirez, Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Gaby Sanchez, John Buck, Omar Infante and Josh Johnson.
"That's a solid lineup, and a good one to put up against the tough pitching featured in the National League East," said MLB Network analyst Al Leiter on a recent broadcast. Leiter pitched for the Marlins and was a member of the World Series championship team in 1997.
Stanton and Morrison have been stepping up their drills and hopefully will be back in Grapefruit League action in the next several days.
The duo should provide much-needed pop as the Marlins have struggled offensively on the spring circuit over the last week or so.
Meanwhile, Manager Ozzie Guillen said the rest of the starters look ready to go and are on track to be pretty much in set roles when The Fish play their final exhibition games against the New York Yankees at Marlins Park on April 1 and 2.