Hechavarria injured his left shoulder in the collision with Yelich in the ninth inning, and he said the earliest he could possibly play is Monday, when the Marlins open a brief homestand against the Chicago Cubs.
Manager Dan Jennings said that it appears the injury is a bruise and that Hechavarria should miss no more than a couple of games.
“Basically, my shoulder hurts when I do any type of movement, up or down,” Hechavarria said through a translator. “I do expect to be in the lineup sometime in the near future.”
Hechavarria is having an All-Star-caliber season. He is hitting .300, and his defensive play has been outstanding and often breathtaking. If there is any consolation, it is that the injury is not to his throwing shoulder.
“I’m definitely fortunate it was left and not my right,” he said.
Hechavarria said he did not think he could have hit had the game continued and his turn come up again.
“I knew I couldn’t hit,” he said. “My shoulder was bothering me. It was tight. And I got the wind knocked out of me, so it was tough for me to breathe.”
Hechavarria remained in the game for the final two outs as the Marlins held on for a 4-3 victory.
He was the only player on the Marlins who had not missed a game.
“It’s upsetting for me to miss the game [Saturday] and to miss a game at all during the year,” Hechavarria said. “It’s always a goal of mine, and everybody’s, to be able to play in every single game.”
Because the Marlins are carrying 13 pitchers, their bench is already short. With Hechavarria out of the picture, it’s even shorter. Donovan Solano started in Hechavarria’s place at shortstop on Saturday.
Yelich was charging in for the ball as Hechavarria was going out when they collided. Yelich said he was going to dive head-first for the ball until the last moment when he caught Hechavarria coming at him out of the corner of his eye.
“We hit each other good,” Yelich said. “It could have been a lot worse. If I dove head-first, we’d probably both be going to the hospital for sure, which I’m glad I didn’t do.”
▪ Catcher Jeff Mathis continues to work his way back from a fractured right hand and could return as early as the Cubs series. Mathis is on a rehab assignment with Double A Jacksonville.
“He’ll continue to do that until he gets enough at-bats where he feels comfortable,” Jennings said. “There hasn’t been a determined time frame as to when he’ll come back. But he’s moving closer to that direction.”
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP David Phelps (2-2, 3.56 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Bartolo Colon (7-3, 4.82), 1:10 p.m., Citi Field.
▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (0-1, 9.39) vs. Chicago Cubs RHP Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 3.76), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.