Fish Bytes

‘Uncle!’: Marlins infield decimated by mind-boggling wave of injuries

An injury plague of unfathomable proportions has wiped out the left side of the Marlins infield.

And it’s all happened in the short span of four days.

Within a matter of hours on Wednesday, the Marlins placed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and scratched his replacement, rookie J.T. Riddle, from the lineup with a finger injury.

Third baseman Martin Prado (hamstring) and primary backup infielder Miguel Rojas (broken thumb) were placed on the disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining injuries on Sunday in New York.

“Uncle!” exclaimed Michael Hill, Marlins president of baseball operations.

The wave of sudden injuries has so decimated the Marlins infield that Dee Gordon started at shortstop on Wednesday for the first time in four years and Steve Lombardozzi, who was called up from Triple A and hasn’t played in the majors in two years, took his spot at second base.

“When stuff keeps happening, you’re like, ‘What’s going on? This can’t happen,’ ” said exasperated manager Don Mattingly of the string of injuries to key players.

The Marlins were already hurting when they lost Prado and Rojas. But that was only the beginning.

On Tuesday night, Hechavarria came out in the third inning with a strained left oblique, an injury that can linger for weeks. While the Marlins placed Hechavarria on the 10-day disabled list, he’ll likely be out longer than that.

Riddle, who took over at shortstop after Hechavarria came out, was penciled in to start Wednesday. But Riddle sustained an injury to his right index finger while taking a ground ball and had to be scratched.

The extent of his injury is uncertain.

Asked if he felt like he was trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle, Mattingly replied: “It’s getting there.”

Gordon last played shortstop with the Dodgers on Sept. 27, 2013.

Lombardozzi spent five seasons with the Nationals, Pirates and Orioles but last played in the majors in 2015. A career .263 hitter, Lombardozzi spent part of last season in the Independent League before hooking on with Triple A New Orleans this season.

The Marlins could have infield help on the way in the form of veteran Mike Aviles, who is expected to join New Orleans on Thursday. Aviles has been getting at-bats at extended spring training in Jupiter.

▪ It appears Edinson Volquez is on track to start Saturday. Volquez, who has been on the disabled list with a blister on his right thumb, worked a bullpen session on Wednesday.

The status of fellow starter Wei-Yin Chen is less certain.

Chen, who missed his last start because of left arm fatigue, also threw a bullpen on Wednesday but said he wants to see how the arm feels on Thursday before making a decision on whether he’s ready to return.

Chen said he wants to make sure his arm is 100 percent before going forward. If Chen’s arm checks out, he’ll start Tuesday. If not, the Marlins will have to find someone else to make that start.

“With Wei-Yin I think we wait to find out how he comes back [Thursday],” Mattingly said.


▪ Thursday: Off day.

▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (1-0, 1.69 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-4, 4.55), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Volquez (0-4, 4.71) vs. Braves RHP Julio Teheran (2-3, 4.69), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.