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Posted at 11:48 AM ET, 03/17/2012

Notes on injuries, bullpen, fifth starter ... plus today’s lineup

Good morning from Space Coast Stadium in lovely Viera, Fla., where the big news today is the grand opening of a new Publix, which was enough to cause a backup of traffic this morning on Stadium Drive.

That’s still bigger news than anything I have for you this morning. Nothing but incremental updates around here. Nonetheless, here they are:

*Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche and Rick Ankiel remain out of the lineup with nagging injuries, though none appear serious — and in fact, all three may take some at-bats in a minor league game down the road.

Morse’s strained lat muscle was serious enough for the team to order an MRI, which apparently only confirmed the diagnosis. “It restricts his throwing,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “He still feels it when he turns.”

It sounds as if that trio is still at least a few days away from appearing in any big league games. “When they’re not having any problem,” Johnson said, “they can come over here [and] work out for me here, then I’ll give them a day [off] after that, and then they can play. That’s the way I am.”

Johnson also offered a unique theory on the accumulation of nagging injuries in this camp: “A lot of times, when the quality of talent is better in your camp, guys push themselves harder earlier, and you’re more apt to have those kinds of problems.”

*As for Chien-Ming Wang, Johnson reported some improvement in his condition, as well as some optimism from Wang’s personal trainer that he could be ready to pitch again sooner than expected. However, Johnson continues to preach caution with the veteran right-ha nder. “I said [to the trainer], ‘Well, you need to sit on him and make sure you don’t rush him.’ But his arm feels great. I feel comfortable that he’s going to be fine.”

*Johnson also took some time to clarify the fifth starter picture, given Wang’s current absence. In so many words, he said lefty John Lannan would occupy Wang’s rotation spot, with lefties Ross Detwiler and Tom Gorzelanny and right-hander Craig Stammen all “stretched out” to the point where they could throw 80 to 100 pitches as a starter by the end of camp.

Two of them will wind up in the bullpen, as Johnson said he plans to go north with two long relievers/spot-starters in his seven-man bullpen.

He also singled out Detwiler as showing the most promise, and said that Detwiler will start in a minor-league game on Sunday, while Edwin Jackson starts in the big league game.

“We still haven’t seen, as far as I’m concerned, the best of Ross Detwiler,” Johnson said.

*Finally, here’s today’s lineup against the visiting Miami Marlins:

1. Ian Desmond, SS

2. Danny Espinosa, 2B

3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B

4. Mark DeRosa, DH

5. Chad Tracy, 1B

6. Jayson Werth, RF

7. Wilson Ramos, C

8. Bryce Harper, CF

9. Roger Bernadina, LF

-Jordan Zimmermann, RHP

By  |  11:48 AM ET, 03/17/2012

 
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