VIERA, Fla. (AP) -Florida Marlins left-hander Scott Olsen had another pain-free bullpen session Thursday, giving the team hope he'll be able to start the season in the rotation.
Olsen has not pitched since March 2 because of tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. He has thrown two bullpen sessions and will have two more before returning to the mound for the final 10 days of the exhibition season.
``We'll slot him in there,'' manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ``He'll be one of the first four. It'll be pushing it to get him in the first series.''
The Marlins open the season March 31, with a three-game series against the Mets before facing the Pirates in a series starting April 4.
Olsen was originally in line to be the opening-day starter. Sergio Mitre would have stepped into that spot had he not been ruled out until at least May 1 because of a right forearm strain. Now, left-hander Mark Hendrickson appears the front-runner to start opening day.
``We have to put together the five guys first,'' general manager Larry Beinfest said. ``What we have said all along, I'd be more concerned about making the team than starting opening day. And that goes for all of them.''
The injuries will give Ricky Nolasco a more prominent role and creates opportunities for such young pitchers as Andrew Miller, Gaby Hernandez, Chris Volstad, Burke Badenhop and Doug Waechter.
``We're talented. We're very young, though,'' Beinfest said. ``We've got to be careful with everything we do. We want to make sure that these guys with bright futures, we don't do anything to their detriment.''
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