The Marlins should soon know the extent of starting third baseman Martin Prado’s injury.
Manager Don Mattingly said Prado is set to undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine the severity of the right hamstring injury he suffered earlier this week while playing in the World Baseball Classic.
“It’s a hamstring so those things take a little time,” Mattingly said. “We’ll let the doctors determine what the grade is and go from there. Hopefully, it’s minor and we can continue to get him ready.”
Prado hurt himself while trying to leg out an infield hit in the sixth inning of Venezuela’s game Wednesday night against the United States.
If Prado is out for the start of the season, Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas figure to be the team’s top options at third base.
Prado hit .305 with eight home runs and 75 RBI last season and started 146 games at third base. His nine errors were tied for the fewest among National League third basemen and his .972 fielding percentage ranked third.
The Marlins optioned infielder J.T. Riddle and outfielder Yefri Perez to Triple A New Orleans, catcher Austin Nola and left-handed pitcher Dillon Peters to Double A Jacksonville and reassigned left-handed pitcher Kyle Lobstein to minor-league camp.
Perez saw some action last season, contributing mostly with his speed as a pinch runner. He appeared in 12 games, stole four bases in six attempts and had two hits in three at-bats. A switch hitter, Perez could be called up to the majors at some point early in the season if the need arises.
“With Yefri you like what he’s doing and where he’s going,” Mattingly said. “He’s shown continued development learning shortstop, learning second base. It’s about getting him regular at-bats and getting him ready for the season and letting him get into a routine.”
Riddle, the Marlins’ No. 13 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, is on the 40-man roster and, according to Mattingly, has looked strong defensively in the spring. The Marlins are hoping to see improvement at the plate mainly in terms of power. Riddle has hit .274 with 20 home runs combined over four minor-league seasons.
Peters, who’s projected as a potential future starter, went 14-6 with a 2.36 ERA last season while splitting time between Single A Jupiter and Double A Jacksonville.
Mattingly said Nola, who played in Triple A all of last year, was sent to Double A because he could get more playing time for now at that level with Tomas Telis likely to start the season in Triple A if A.J. Ellis is back in time for Opening Day.
REACTION TO REPORT
Mattingly was asked what his reaction was to the report Thursday that deceased Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was responsible for the boating accident that claimed his and two others’ lives this past September.
"It doesn’t really change anything," Mattingly said. "I haven’t listened to anybody [in the clubhouse] talk about it. At the end of the day, you have three families that have huge losses and nothing that comes out is going to make any of that any better."
THIS AND THAT
▪ Mattingly said he’s optimistic Ellis (left hamstring strain) will be active to start the season. Ellis has been dealing with the injury since late February, which kept him from playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
▪ Jeff Locke (biceps) isn’t expected to be ready by Opening Day, but has begun throwing on consecutive days and Mattingly said he is “moving in the right direction.”
Saturday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily vs. Tigers RHP Justin Verlander, 1:05 p.m., Lakeland.