Rafael Furcal, signed for $3.5 million to be the Marlins second baseman in 2014, played in his first minor-league rehab game Monday night after starting the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.
“Our plan is for him to use all 21 [rehab] days,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Hopefully everything goes well and we go from there.”
That means the earliest Furcal, 36, would be back with the Marlins is May 6.
Redmond said Furcal would spend a week in Single A Jupiter and then another in Double A Jacksonville before being reevaluated. Furcal spent last week in extended spring training as he began his road back from the injury.
Monday, the Marlins wanted Furcal to play only five innings against the Port St. Lucie Mets. He walked and scored a run in his first at-bat and then singled to center in his next at-bat.
• Center fielder Marcell Ozuna wasn’t in the starting lineup Monday after fouling a ball off his foot Sunday. Redmond said Ozuna was on crutches Sunday night. But Ozuna took batting practice Monday, and Redmond said he could be available to pinch-hit.
“It’s one of those things where if it’s a bone bruise it can be a big deal, or it’s just a matter where it flares up, swells up that night,” Redmond said. “We’ll see how he does [Monday]. We know he can’t run 100 percent. We’ll see if he can hit.”
• Right-hander Jacob Turner, scratched from his last start and placed on the disabled list after injuring his throwing shoulder during batting practice last week, will begin playing catch on Tuesday. Redmond said Turner “reported that he feels much better than he has.”
“We’ll see how it responds to long toss,” Redmond said. “Then we may start a plan for him.”
• Utility infielder Ed Lucas was cleared to begin full baseball activities Monday. Lucas has been on the disabled list since he fractured his left hand during his final at-bat of the spring. He isn’t expected back until next month.
It was a rough week out on the road for the Marlins, but especially the bullpen.
Carlos Marmol, Dan Jennings and Mike Dunn all gave up home runs late in four of the losses.
Closer Steve Cishek, who went into Monday’s series opener with the longest consecutive saves streak in the majors, never got the opportunity to protect a Marlins lead. In fact, entering Monday’s game, he had pitched only once since the season-opening series against the Rockies — last Friday in Philadelphia.
Redmond said the team planned to get Cishek some work even it involved bringing him in to pitch in the eighth.
Cishek had three situations during last year’s 100-loss season where he got six or more days’ worth of rest between appearances. So he’s used to long layoffs.
“Everyday is just about going out there and hoping the team puts you in a situation to secure a win,” Cishek said. “Our first six games we were raking. So even if we’ve been down, I’m still trying to key in, get myself mentally ready to go in. It’s still early. I feel like we have a good bullpen. I think we’ll handle ourselves fine for the remainder of the year. We just had a little bad run.”
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 3.00 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-1, 4.24), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (2-1, 3.78) vs. Nationals RHP Tanner Roark (1-0, 5.91), 7:10 p.m. Marlins Park.