Christian Yelich made one of the best catches of the young season Monday night against the Braves. Now he’s paying for it some with tightness in his back.
The Marlins scratched the Gold Glove-winning left fielder from the lineup Tuesday and inserted 41-year-old veteran Ichiro Suzuki in his place.
“I think it’s something that has kind of been lingering for a day or so,” Redmond said of Yelich’s back tightness. “That play probably didn’t help it.”
In the second inning Monday, Yelich chased down a Cameron Maybin line drive on the left-field warning track, making a lunging, over-the-shoulder catch before tumbling to the ground.
“I think the important thing is to get him feeling good,” Redmond said. “If it is a day or two, or a DL stint, that’s the important thing. Right now we’re just treating it as a day-to-day thing. We’ll evaluate him [Wednesday] and see how he is. I know he’s been getting treatment on it all day, trying to get that thing feeling better.”
With the Marlins set to close out a three-game series in Atlanta on Wednesday, Yelich likely won’t be back in the lineup until Thursday at the earliest.
Ichiro made his first start of the season Sunday in place of center fielder Marcell Ozuna, who showed up late for stretch and was scratched from the lineup.
“We weren’t sure how it was going to happen, where we would get him into games,” Redmond said of Ichiro. “As you see, there have been places where we can plug him in. What he brings to our ballclub is huge. Maybe Ichiro is what we need to give us that lift, to give us that spark.”
After having the first five players successfully convert steal attempts against him this season, Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw out Andrelton Simmons in the fourth inning and then Cameron Maybin in the sixth inning Monday.
“It felt good,” he said. “The pitchers have been doing a great job of giving me an opportunity of giving me enough time to get it down there. [Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria] made a great pick and tag on that second one.”
Aside from leading all catchers in baseball with the most errors (he had a combined 13 errors his last two seasons in Boston), Salty threw out just 19 of the 89 runners who attempted to steal on him (three percent lower than his career average and among the worst in baseball) last season. He was also the worst catcher in baseball at framing pitches, according to Baseball Prospectus.
“I take more pride in my defense than anything else,” Saltalamacchia said. “Honestly, I still haven’t looked at the numbers. I don’t know what they are. But I know it wasn’t what I wanted them to be or what I’m capable of.”
“I’m happy where I’m at [defensively],” Saltalamacchia said. “I’m blocking the ball well, receiving well. I’m definitely in a better frame of mind than where I was last year.’’
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Dan Haren (0-0, 1.50 ERA) at Braves LHP Eric Stults (0-0, 5.40), 12:10 p.m., Turner Field.
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 1.50) at Mets RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 9.00), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.