Marlins, Rockies open Monday hoping to improve

Marlins, Rockies open Monday hoping to improve

MIAMI (AP) — Always restless when he's not pitching, Jose Fernandez clowns with teammates and leads cheers in the dugout, offers to pinch run or begs to pinch hit.

But all the Miami Marlins really want him to do is lead them out of last place, beginning Monday against the Colorado Rockies.

The reigning NL Rookie of the Year will make his first opening day start for the Marlins, who have finished last in the NL East each of the past three years, and lost 100 games in 2013.

The Rockies have room for improvement, too. They went 74-88 last year and finished last in the NL West.

They're beginning their first season since 1996 without first baseman Todd Helton, who retired. His replacement is Justin Morneau, who joins a potent lineup.