JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Marlins are still waiting to learn the extent of third baseman Martin Prado’s hamstring injury, including whether he’ll be available for opening day.
Playing for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Prado hurt himself running out a grounder in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s loss to Team USA.
Prado immediately left the game and didn’t return.
”Hopefully it’s minor, Grade I (strain), and that we’re able to kind of continue and have him ready, but we’ll just have to wait and see,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Friday.
Prado was scheduled to fly from San Diego to the Marlins’ spring training complex and expected to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
At that point the Marlins will, ”Get our doctors to see (the results) and let them make a decision – see where they think he’s at,” Mattingly said.
Three of Prado’s seven hits in 19 WBC at-bats were doubles.
A career .293 hitter over 10 major league seasons, Prado hit .305 and drove in 75 runs for the Marlins last season.
”Obviously it’s a hamstring,” Mattingly said. ”Those things take a little time.”
Mattingly and the Marlins were already dealing with one hamstring issue in camp.
Catcher A.J. Ellis hurt his hamstring in late February. At first, the Marlins thought Ellis would only be held out of action for a couple of days, but he has yet to appear in a Grapefruit League game since.
If the season began today, Ellis would be placed on the disabled list, Mattingly said, but the manager remains optimistic that Ellis will be ready by the time the season begins.
”With A.J. we felt like that was a minor, minor thing and it’s been how may days?” Mattingly said.
Should Prado miss time, the Marlins would turn to either Miguel Rojas or Derek Dietrich, both of whom were already expected to make Miami’s 25-man roster out of camp. Rojas played 16 games at the spot last season but only started once. Dietrich started seven games there in 2016, part of his 13 appearances at third.
A .247 hitter last year for Miami, Rojas went 0 for 1 with a walk at third base on Friday against Washington.
Like Rojas, Dietrich also plays multiple positions for the Marlins and is growing more comfortable at third base.
”It’s definitely a big loss to lose your captain,” Dietrich said of Prado. ”I’ve been in this situation before. I just prepare like I’m going to help the team every day.”