JUPITER -- While the status of Rafael Furcal, the Marlins injured second baseman and leadoff hitter, remained up in the air on Monday, he said it might be more prudent to start the season on the disabled list rather than risk further harm to his injured left hamstring if he is not 100 percent healthy.
Time is running out, though, and the Marlins must make a decision soon.
If the Marlins decide to place Furcal on the 15-day DL, they could make the move retroactive to March 21, making him eligible for an April 6 return after missing only six games.
I would prefer to lose five or 10 games and not lose a month or the whole season, said Furcal, who had four at-bats as a designated hitter in an intrasquad game Monday. I want to be healthy. Thats the only way I can help the team play every day. They know it. I dont want to play one day and take five days off.
Furcal, who missed all of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, has been limited to only 18 at-bats so far this spring in Grapefruit League action due to the injury.
Marlins general manager Michael Hill said Furcal has not yet reached the point of no return as far as making the Opening Day roster, though only five games remain on the spring schedule.
Given his experience, you give him the time that he needs, knowing hell make the right decision, Hill said.
If Furcal starts the season on the DL, the player many feel would be most likely to replace him at second, Derek Dietrich, was back on the field on for the first time since Thursday when his nose was broken by a ground ball.
Dietrich, wearing a protective mask, also played in the intrasquad game. He said he might be ready to play Tuesday when the Marlins face the Cardinals.
The Marlins also could go with Donovan Solano at second base.
Tom Koehlers next-to-last spring start on Monday wasnt as sharp as his earlier ones. But he made it through a rough first inning and managed to complete six, allowing a pair of runs on five hits and a couple of walks.
Today was a grind from pitch one, said Koehler, who is in contention for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
But Koehler said he was pleased with how he was able to limit damage despite not having his best stuff.
Im very happy about that, he said. Its easy to go out there and feel good about outings when you have your best stuff and the game is a breeze. But to go out there and know youre pretty much going to be battling from pitch one, to give the team six innings and keep them in the game, thats what can make or break a team.
The Marlins lost Monday to the Washington Nationals 4-1.
This and that
• Greg Dobbs played in the intrasquad game and had a single in four at-bats.
• Adeiny Hechavarria left Mondays game against the Nationals with tightness in his groin.
• Catcher Kyle Skipworth was reassigned to minor-league camp Monday. The Marlins spring roster now numbers 38 players. More cuts are expected within the coming two days.
• Redmond said Brad Hand will start Thursday when the Marlins face the Cardinals in their final game this spring at Roger Dean Stadium. Henderson Alvarez will pitch in a minor-league game that day.
• Jacob Turner and Koehler are slated to start Friday and Saturday, respectively, when the Marlins face the New York Yankees in Tampa.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn, 1:05 p.m., Jupiter.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi at Atlanta Braves RHP Julio Teheran, 1:05 p.m., Kissimmee.