Sunday, the Marlins decided to cut short his rehab assignment, two days after his right groin tightened up on him while running the bases for Double A Jacksonville.
The Marlins paid the 36-year-old second baseman $3.5 million to serve as the team’s leadoff hitter. But he injured his left hamstring in the middle of spring training and began the season on the disabled list.
“We were starting to see much more consistent at-bats,” Hill said of Furcal. “His [previously strained] hamstring feels great. His defense has been solid. So, it’s just a matter of making sure his body is ready for what he’s going to undergo here.”
Salty gets ring
One of the big reasons the Marlins signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the offseason was because they wanted his championship-winning experience with the Red Sox to rub off on his new teammates.
Now, the 28-year-old catcher actually has a World Series ring to flaunt in front of their faces.
Sunday morning, Saltalamacchia received his reward for helping Boston win its third title since 2004. Allard Baird, Red Sox vice president of player personnel, made the trek over to Citi Field to deliver Saltalamacchia’s ring in person. And his new teammates all got a good look at it.
“Bigger than I thought it was going to be, but it’s nice to actually have it in hand,” Saltalamacchia said. “It’s really cool. It fits and they got the name right. I had to check it twice to make sure it’s spelled right.”
The ring — studded with red rubies and sapphires — has several slogans from the Red Sox run to the World Series on it including Beared Brothers and Boston Strong. It represents everything the team went through during the season, Saltalamacchia said. It’s also not too gaudy, smaller than the huge rings Saltalamacchia said he has seen the Marlins front-office personnel wearing from the 2003 World Series season.
“A lot of guys play a long time to get one of these or even make it. So I’m pretty fortunate,” Saltalamacchia said. “I plan on wearing it for sure.”
Hill doesn’t mind that at all. He wants the Marlins to see it and be envious.
“You win one of those, they’re all special,” Hill said. “It doesn’t matter what the size is. You know a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into that.
“We brought him here for that. That pedigree. We talked about what he brings. Casey McGehee won it in Japan. Garrett Jones was part of breaking that historic drought in Pittsburgh. That’s what you play for — to achieve and to win. Every reminder you can give is positive.”
• As tough a run as it has been for the Marlins bullpen to start the season, left-handerMike Dunn
said he expects himself and others who have been struggling to bounce back. The Marlins have lost four games in walk-off fashion and another three games on the road by allowing big hits in the eighth inning.
“Last year was pretty tough with the way we lost games, too,” said Dunn, who picked up Saturday’s win with two scoreless innings of relief. “I think the experience of being a part of it last year makes it easier to move on this year.
“It’s a six-month season. It’s not a spring, it’s a long haul. Over the course of a season everything is going to be ironed out and be fine. We got to see what the bullpen could do last year and what our pitching staff could do on a full season.”
: Marlins RHPJose Fernandez
(3-1, 1.99 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves LHPAlex Wood
(2-3, 1.54), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
: Marlins RHPNathan Eovaldi
(1-1, 2.87) vs. Braves RHPAaron Harang
(3-1, 0.85), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.