VIERA -- When the Marlins acquired Adeiny Hechavarria in their blockbuster deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, the team received a glowing recommendation on the 23-year-old shortstop from none other than Hanley Ramirez.
“Hanley Ramirez called us and told us what an incredible shortstop he is,” Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said. “When Hanley tells you ‘He is better than I am, you’ve got a great guy with great hands,’ it’s amusing to listen to.”
Hechavarria appreciated Ramirez’s kind words.
“I think any player or any rookie, when they speak well of you, you feel humbled,” Hechavarria said. “You’re like, ‘Man, they know I have talent and they’re talking good about me,’ and that makes you happy. I appreciate them having that kind of opinion of me.”
Hechavarria said he always has been a defense-first kind of player.
“Honestly, I’ve always loved to catch the ball,” he said. “From when I was real little, I would play with a ping pong ball.
“When I was real young, I never liked to hit. I liked to catch the ball and throw. Catch and throw. That came natural to me.”
Eovaldi solid in win
Nathan Eovaldi turned in two scoreless innings and the Marlins held the Nationals to just three hits in a 5-1 victory at Space Coast Stadium.
Eovaldi, making his first spring start, gave up a leadoff walk in the first to Denard Span before striking out Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth and ending the inning when Kyle Skipworth threw out Span trying to steal second.
The Marlins got on the board first when Christian Yelich tripled off the batter’s eye in center and scored on Donovan Solano’s sacrifice fly. Solano also went 2 for 2 and scored a run.
• Jose Fernandez will start a “B” game at 10 a.m. and throw two innings Thursday against the Cardinals on the back diamonds. Adam Conley is also due to pitch for the Marlins. Outfielders Jake Marisnick and Marcell Ozuna will be in the lineup.
• Former Marlins third baseman Mike Lowell will spend Thursday with the team as a guest instructor. Lowell performed the same duty earlier in the week for the Boston Red Sox.
• Giancarlo Stanton’s last games for the Marlins before leaving for the World Baseball Classic will be Thursday and Friday, manager Mike Redmond said. Stanton, closer Steve Cishek and starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez could be away from the Marlins for as long as two weeks.
• Redmond said the Marlins still don’t have a definitive date for when Rule V draft pick Alfredo Silverio can start playing the outfield. Silverio, who has been used as a designated hitter, remains on a throwing program while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (1-4, 3.38) at St. Louis Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook (13-11, 3.97), 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.
• Friday: Minnesota Twins RHP Vance Worley (6-9, 4.20) at Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (9-14, 4.85), 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.