Expansion sisters will square off to open the 2014 Major League Baseball season as the Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins meet for four games in South Florida. Both teams are coming off of last place finishes in 2013 as Colorado finished 74-88 — fifth in the National League West. Miami lost 100 games for just the second time in its history, finishing 62-100 — the worst record in the National League.
Despite a sub-par year, Colorado outfielder Michael Cuddyer claimed his first batting title while pitcher Jorge De La Rosa finished third in the N.L. in victories. Marlins’ starting pitcher Jose Fernandez is also coming off of a stellar season by finishing with a 2.19 ERA while earning the 2013 N.L. Rookie of the Year award.
Miami has brought in a number of new faces this offseason with the additions of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman Garrett Jones and infielder Rafael Furcal. For Colorado, the Rockies will be without the freshly-retired Todd Helton at first base for the first time since 1996.
The Rockies and Marlins will play night games on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before concluding the four-game set with a day game on Thursday. Miami took the season series in 2013, winning four of the seven match-ups. Colorado however, was 2-1 at Marlins Park.
Fernandez Looks to Build on Stellar Rookie Campaign
21-year-old Jose Fernandez will make his first Opening Day start on Monday, looking to build on a strong rookie season. As a rookie in 2013, Fernandez finished with a 12-6 record and a 2.19 ERA, which ranked second in the National League. Fernandez was also third in WHIP and struck out 187 opposing batters in just under 173 innings pitched. Fernandez’s debut last season was a gem as the hard-throwing right-hander went five innings against the New York Mets allowing just a run on three hits while striking out eight.
Marlins Hopeful to Improve Offensively
In 2013, the Miami Marlins finished last in baseball in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. This offseason, Miami sought to improve the middle of the order with the additions of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and first baseman Garrett Jones. Saltalamacchia hit .273 with 14 home runs last season for the world champion Boston Red Sox while Jones smacked 15 home runs for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The two additions should provide some pop and protection in the lineup for outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.
Monday – Jorge De La Rosa (COL) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Jose Fernandez (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Tuesday – Brett Anderson (COL) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Wednesday – Tyler Chatwood (COL) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Thursday – Juan Nicasio (COL) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Jacob Turner (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA