The injury wave that obliterated the Marlins infield has nearly run its course.
First baseman Justin Bour, third baseman Martin Prado and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria are all nearing their returns from the disabled list. Bour is set to come off Friday in Atlanta, and Prado and Hechavarria are scheduled to begin minor-league rehab assignments Thursday at Single A Jupiter.
Prado and Hechavarria could be activated from the DL during the Marlins’ next homestand. The two infielders will likely play in six or seven rehab games for Jupiter and Double A Jacksonville before being activated.
“It hasn’t felt honestly that depleted,” manager Don Mattingly said of patching up the lineup holes in their absences. “[JT Riddle] has filled in for Hech really well. You look at that as I don’t know if we lost anything there.”
Getting Bour and Prado back could make a huge difference.
“It’s hard to replace Martin as far as what he brings to the table on a daily basis,” Mattingly said of Prado, who began the season on the DL with a hamstring injury that he later re-injured.
Prado has played in just 17 games.
When Prado returns, though, he probably won’t go back to batting second in the lineup. Mattingly said Giancarlo Stanton will likely remain there.
“I really don’t want to mess with that,” Mattingly said. “Right now, I think we hang with that and let Martin fill in [elsewhere in the lineup] and go from there.”
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (left-arm fatigue) could resume throwing as early as Wednesday if he receives the green light from the team doctor.
Marlins draft college players in later rounds
After taking New Mexico prep pitcher Trevor Rogers in the first round, the Marlins went heavy on collegiate players, using their next 10 selections on players from the college ranks.
One of those taken was North Carolina State third baseman Joe Dunand, a nephew to former Major League star Alex Rodriguez and product of Gulliver Prep in Miami. Dunand hit .289 with 16 homers for the Wolfpack this season.
Marlins scouting director Stan Meek said one of the goals with this year’s draft was to replenish a talent-thin farm system with college players who might be closer to reaching the majors.
“Normally we take more high school guys than college guys,” Meek said. “The board just didn’t fall that way this year. Our system is a little barren, so we’re trying to get more in there. To do that we felt like the college guys were a little bit closer to helping us. But we didn’t step down to do it.”
After taking Rogers, the Marlins used their competitive balance pick on University of North Carolina outfielder Brian Allen, who was followed by Dunand in the second round.
On Tuesday, the Marlins went all-college, starting with third-round pick Riley Mahan, a second baseman from the University of Kentucky. He was followed by right-handed pitcher Colten Hock (Stanford), right-handed pitcher Ryan Lillie (Cal-Riverside), right-handed pitcher Taylor Braley (Southern Miss), left-handed pitcher Sean Guenther (Notre Dame), catcher Jared Barnes (South Alabama), center fielder Cameron Baranek (Hope International University) and third baseman Denis Karas (California).
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Edinson Volquez (3-7, 3.41) vs. Oakland A’s RHP Daniel Gossett (MLB debut), 12:10 p.m.
▪ Thursday: Off day.