The youth on the Marlins' pitching staff might make Kevin Slowey feel like a senior citizen, but the 28-year-old is enjoying it.
"I think there's an advantage to having a youthful team," said Slowey, slated to pitch Monday in Miami's home opener. "There's a lot of excitement. There are a lot of guys who are really looking to make a name for themselves and to kind of carve out a niche for themselves in the Major Leagues. There's a lot of opportunity and a lot of enthusiasm."
That youth and excitement was on full display Sunday when 20-year-old phenom Jose Fernandez yielded only one run on three hits while striking out eight in his five-inning Major League debut. Fernandez hadn't pitched above Class A prior to his outing. Slowey has taken a different path to reach the Miami rotation.
After five years with the Twins, Slowey was traded to the Rockies in December 2011, then the Indians a month later. He never pitched for Cleveland's big league club, and latched on with the Marlins this past January.
He compiled a 2.41 ERA in six Grapefruit League outings this spring and earned a spot on the Marlins' staff, but he has yet to find a place in Miami to live.
"That's just part of baseball," Slowey said. "No matter what organization you're with, you bounce around the Minor Leagues, you're going up and someone's getting released. Or maybe you're getting traded. You kind of get an opportunity to get used to it, to know that every single day is a new challenge. The guys in this clubhouse have been really welcoming. And there's a lot of new faces in here. This is the team we have and this is the team we're going to work with."
Few had better springs than Slowey, but Braves southpaw Paul Maholm might have. The 30-year-old, scheduled to pitch Monday, posted a 4-1 mark and 1.53 ERA in seven spring starts. He carried that into his first regular season outing, in which he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless frames in a 9-2 win against the Phillies.
Maholm is more impressed by his team's offense, however.
"This lineup is going to torture pitchers," he said. "They're going to have some nights when they don't, but I'll take this lineup over any other."
As part of the ceremonies for their home opener, the Marlins will display a video tribute to their past in celebrating the 20th anniversary season of the franchise. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Braves: Freeman not happy about DL stint
• First baseman Freddie Freeman is less than thrilled that the Braves placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle.
"I've got to sit now for 15 days when this is not a 15-day thing," Freeman said. "It could be a two-day thing. Now I'm out for two weeks for no reason."
Through five games, Freeman has batted .412 (7-for-17) with a home run and a double. He has been feeling discomfort since a March 31 workout.
"It's not hurt to the point that I can't play," Freeman said. "I'm playing just fine."
Marlins: Redmond enjoying the ride so far
• New skipper Mike Redmond is eager to get to Miami so he can finally move into his apartment and his Marlins can play before a home crowd. The longtime catcher won a World Series with the franchise in 2003 and is itching to restore that level of play with the current team.
"When I took this job, I had so much pride in this organization," he said. "Being a player and making my Major League debut and winning a World Series here, I love this organization. It's going to be neat. Obviously, I understand that it's been a rough go over the last year, but at the same time, we're turning the page and we're moving in a new direction. I'm excited to be in charge and to lead this team."
• The Braves claimed 14 of 18 meetings with the Marlins last season, outscoring Miami 93-39.