JUPITER, Fla. -- How the Marlins' rotation holds up is widely regarded as the key to their season.
If Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Carlos Zambrano stay healthy, a playoff berth is realistic.
But as much as the team is counting on their starting five, invariably there is a demand for more starting depth.
This is where pitchers like lefty Wade LeBlanc come into play.
Acquired from the Padres for catcher John Baker, LeBlanc offers 54 games of big league experience, including 52 starts.
The 27-year-old lefty is in the mix for a long-relief role. If he doesn't make the team, he has an option remaining, so he would join the Triple-A New Orleans staff.
A year ago, the Marlins used 11 different starting pitchers. The need occurred after Johnson was sidelined with right shoulder inflammation.
Of the 11, four made their first career big league starts.
LeBlanc offers depth with MLB experience.
"The more experience you have in the big leagues, the more experience you have in every possible situation you can be put in," LeBlanc said. "There is no more deer-in-the-headlights looks. There is no more awe when you get out on the mound in a big league stadium. It's more, 'This is my job, I've got to do my job and keep my team in the ballgame.'"
With San Diego last year, LeBlanc went 5-6 with a 4.63 ERA in 14 starts.
As he acclimates to the Marlins, he is open to any role for which he is suited -- either starting or long relief.
"Whatever gets me to the big leagues," he said. "Whatever keeps me there."
Ozzie wants quick, efficient workouts
JUPITER, Fla. -- Get on the field, get your work done correctly and go home.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't believe in overdoing it in the early part of Spring Training.
One of the biggest changes from the past in Marlins' camp is how long the players are on the field.
The team has been getting a good 2 1/2 hours in daily. And since the players are going about their business the right way, they aren't hanging around all afternoon at the Roger Dean Stadium complex.
"I don't want to be out there four or five hours to show my bosses how hard we work," Guillen said. "I don't care about that. Why do you have to stay there for five hours, and then come back the next day and perform? We have to get ready for the regular season. If you're there for five hours, the players can get sore. It may be raining. The players don't want to come back."
Wednesday's workout was cut short by rain. Shortly after the team stretched, the weather turned, and pitchers got their work throwing in a covered area, while the hitters took their swings in the cages.
In his first year managing the Marlins, Guillen is stressing efficiency. It's a philosophy he picked up when he played for Bobby Cox in Atlanta.
"Make sure whatever we have to do on the field, do it quick and do it good," he said. "This is not the instructional league. This is not a Spring Training to learn. This is a Spring Training to prepare yourself for a winning season.
"If you're in big league camp, and you don't know what place or where you're going to be on a particular play, who invited you to big league camp? You shouldn't be here. That's Bobby Cox style. We're not teaching here. We're helping you keep playing the game. The quicker we do the fundamentals, the quicker we leave."
The daily routine, however, is subject to change, pending the effort level of the players.
"If you start playing around, fooling around with the fundamentals, or stop paying attention, and do it your way, then I don't mind taking it to 5 o'clock in the afternoon," Guillen said. "I don't have anything to do here except see my wife and watch TV.
"The players will dictate to us how long we are going to be on the field. If they want extra hitting, we'll do extra hitting. If they do the fundamentals right, we do it for 10-20 minutes. If they are not doing it well, we can do it for an hour. The guys will dictate to me how long we're going to be here."
Most of the players enter Spring Training already in shape.
"They've got gyms and personal trainers," the manager said. "They have to get in baseball shape. That's the difference between then and now."
Johnson to start Grapefruit League opener
JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins have Josh Johnson lined up to start their Grapefruit League opener on Monday against the Cardinals.
Miami is the visiting team at Roger Dean Stadium.
"He's thrown about four bullpens so far," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He seems like he is throwing very well."
Johnson is healthy after being out since mid-May of last year with right shoulder inflammation.
Most likely, he will throw no more than two innings.
The Marlins follow up facing St. Louis with two straight split-squad days. On March 6, they play the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. ET in Jupiter, before heading to Miami to take on the University of Miami at Marlins Park at 7:10 p.m.
Mark Buehrle is scheduled to face the Hurricanes.
On March 7, Ricky Nolasco is slated to pitch against Florida International University at 7:10 p.m.
Earlier in the day, Miami will meet the Mets at Roger Dean Stadium at 1:05 p.m.
"We've got five lineups for three days," Guillen said. "Those split-squads early, gives everybody enough at-bats early in the season."
On Field 2 on Sunday, the team is likely to play a five-inning scrimmage.