The Marlins fully expect Martin Prado to be able to play again this season.
Prado, who is on his third stint on the disabled list this season, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee on Friday.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly did not give a timetable for Prado’s recovery period, but according to a team source, it will be three to five weeks, making it possible for the 33-year-old third baseman to return to action this season.
“I think we expect him to play again this season,” Mattingly said. “I don’t have a true timetable but, obviously, a meniscus is something that’s arthroscopic so hoping it’s something that’s quick.”
Mattingly had indicated in recent days that Prado’s injury had not progressed the way the Marlins had hoped, prompting the need for the procedure.
Prado, who signed a three-year, $40 million extension with the Marlins in the offseason, was placed on the DL on July 18. His previous two previous stints on the DL were because of a right hamstring injury he sustained in March while playing in the World Baseball Classic.
Prado has been limited to only 37 games this season, batting .250 with two home runs, 11 extra-base hits and 12 RBI. Prado, a .291 career hitter, is in his third season with the Marlins and is hitting .292 with 19 home runs and 150 RBI in that time.
Derek Dietrich, who has eight RBI in the past two games, is expected to continue to get the majority of starts at third base in Prado’s absence.
INJURY LIST GROWS
Nick Wittgren was added to the growing list of Marlins on the disabled list on Friday.
Wittgren was placed on the 10-day DL with a right elbow strain. The move was retroactive to Thursday a day after Wittgren last pitched against the Rangers in Texas.
Wittgren appeared to roll his ankle during that outing and was looked at by the Marlins team trainer before continuing to pitch. Wittgren said Thursday he experienced some elbow fatigue that caused him to drive off his legs more in his delivery resulting in him landed awkwardly on his ankle.
“I was kind of using my lower half a lot because my elbow was tired,” Wittgren said. “It’s a little tender so I hope to get some rest and get back here soon.”
Wittgren underwent an MRI on Friday morning, but the results were not yet known. Wittgren said he was not too concerned about the setback.
Wittgren is 3-1 with a 4.68 ERA in 38 appearances (42 1/3 innings) this season.
“I feel confident it’s all right,” Wittgren said. “I just got to see what the doctor says.”
Wittgren’s injury depletes an already short-handed bullpen that’s without injured Kyle Barraclough and recently traded David Phelps. Barraclough was placed on the DL on Wednesday with a right shoulder impingement.
Mattingly said Barraclough’s MRI results did not reveal anything negative, and he doesn’t expect him to miss an extended amount of time.
With Wittgren’s out, the Marlins recalled right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne from Triple A New Orleans.
Despaigne, who can start or pitch out of the bullpen, started one game and made one relief appearance earlier this season for the Marlins, allowing five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings combined (7.94 ERA). He is 2-4 with a 3.09 ERA in 70 innings at Triple A this year.
▪ Saturday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (3-3, 5.62 ERA) vs. Cincinnati Reds RHP Tim Adleman (5-8, 5.11), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (7-6, 3.84 ERA) vs. Reds RHP Luis Castillo (1-4, 4.05), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.