The Miami Marlins were without their leader during the World Baseball Classic. Now, it appears a hamstring injury could keep Martin Prado out of action a little longer.
The 33-year-old infielder pulled up while running to first base on Wednesday in Venezuela's 4-2 loss to Team USA in Pool F of the World Baseball Classic at Petco Park in San Diego. Prado was returning on Friday to South Florida, where he will be further examined.
He is scheduled for an MRI Saturday.
While Prado is on the shelf, Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas will fill the slot in the lineup and in the infield.
"He's getting an MRI tomorrow," manager Don Mattingly said on Friday. "We'll let our doctors see him and make a decision, and we'll see where we think he's at right now.
"There is no reason to speculate at this point. Obviously, it's a hamstring. Those things take a little time."
The Marlins are also having to deal with AJ Ellis’ hamstring injury. The backup catcher has had a setback that hopefully will allow him to be ready for opening day against the Washington Nationals.
Ellis was able to take batting practice this week.
Prado signed a three-year, $40 million extension with the Marlins in early October. He's one of the most valued players on the club.
The Marlins still have minor leaguer Brian Anderson in camp in Jupiter. Anderson spent time between Class-A Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville last season. Anderson, who can play both second and third base, was a hit in the Arizona Fall League. Anderson is currently ranked as the team’s No. 3 prospect and first fielding prospect.
The hope is Prado will be able to play the first game of the season.
"Hamstrings take a little bit of time, and we'll let the doctors determine what grade it is and see what we're going to have to do," Mattingly said. "You're just guessing at a timeline with guys getting back. Hopefully, it's a minor Grade 1, and we'll kind of continue moving and have him ready. We'll have to wait and see."