Miami Marlins

Marlins utilityman Miguel Rojas to miss ‘months’ with broken right thumb

Miami Marlins short stop Miguel Rojas (19) throws in the second inning as the Marlins host the Tampa Bay Rays at Marlins Park on Tues., May 2, 2017.
Miami Marlins short stop Miguel Rojas (19) throws in the second inning as the Marlins host the Tampa Bay Rays at Marlins Park on Tues., May 2, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

The Marlins placed third baseman Martin Prado on the 10-day disabled list Monday and soon utility infielder Miguel Rojas will be joining him there with a broken right thumb.

“He will be out, for a while,” manager Don Mattingly revealed after the Marlins dropped a 9-4 decision to the St. Louis Cardinals at Marlins Park on Monday.

“I think they told me he is going to be in a cast for a couple of months. That’s a pretty good blow to us because Miggy is playing well. He brings a ton of energy to the game, and also is able to play so many spots for us. He’s been able to give different guys [days off]. At shortstop, he was playing steady there. That one, obviously, hurts.”

Mattingly said there’s a possibility Rojas could need surgery.

Rojas, who was leading the team with a .338 batting average, hurt his thumb swinging in the second inning of Sunday’s win over the Mets in New York. X-rays were performed Monday afternoon.

Mattingly wasn’t optimistic to begin with and now the Marlins will have to make another roster move after calling up shortstop J.T. Riddle on Monday to replace Prado.

Mattingly said Riddle could see some time at third if needed. Riddle, 25, said he hasn’t played third at all this season even down in the minors, but could if he needed to.

“I’ve always kind of prided myself to play multiple positions all the way through college ball and pro ball,” Riddle said. “It’s a ground ball — catch it and throw it across the infield.”

Derek Dietrich, who started the season at the hot corner when Prado initially pulled his right hamstring during the World Baseball Classic, got the start at third on Monday against the Cardinals. He was 1-for-3 with an error and was thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

Monday marked Dietrich’s fifth start anywhere since Prado’s initial return. He went into the game batting .224. Last year, Dietrich hit .279 with seven homers and 42 RBI including .274 as a starter.

“Deets deserves the opportunity to play every day,” Mattingly said. “Last year when he played every day at second he showed he’s capable of being a run producer, but also a guy who gets on base and gives you quality at-bats day-to-day. So, he’s going to get that opportunity.”

Mattingly said Prado could be out a couple weeks.

“We obviously expect it’s not a week, more of a little bit longer time,” Mattingly said. “So, we’re going to have to deal with it.”

PITCHING UPDATE

Mattingly said he expects Opening Day starter Edison Volquez (blister) to return from the disabled list and make his next scheduled start Saturday again the Braves, but it’s a different story with Wei-Yin Chen, who was placed on the disabled list last Friday with fatigue in his throwing arm.

“The news on the plane [Sunday] didn’t sound as encouraging as it did that there was no doubt he was going to make his next start,” Mattingly said. “That would push [Jose] Urena [who picked up the win Sunday versus the Mets] into it.”

Chen said he was going to play catch Monday and Tuesday and then throw a bullpen Wednesday before speaking with staff about potentially making his next start. He said the discomfort he felt Friday was in his elbow, not his shoulder. Chen has been pitching with a UCL tear in his elbow.

“I don’t know how to describe it,” Chen said through an interpreter. “There’s no pain. I just feel a little weird in the area. With the experience last year I was being a little bit extra cautious. I didn’t want to go through what I did last year.”

Volquez (0-4, 4.71 ERA) threw a bullpen Monday and said the blister on his right thumb looks much better than it did a week ago in Tampa. He’s been using a mix of pickle juice and urine to treat the blister.

“You have to get used to it,” Volquez said of how to deal with the blister. “You have to find a way to grab the ball, better grip and command the fastball. It’s going to be a big thing for me to do that.”

COMING UP

▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (1-3, 4.65 ERA) vs. Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (2-3, 6.30), 7:10 p.m.

▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 5.40) vs. Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (4-1, 2.04), 7:10 p.m.

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