Now that he knows his leader won’t be part of the opening day lineup against the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly wants to be patient in bringing back third baseman Martin Prado.
Prado was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring injury that he suffered during the World Baseball Classic. Prado returned to the Marlins late last week and had an MRI on Saturday which revealed the extent of the injury.
"I think it's the other side of the coin," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Monday before the Marlins' Grapefruit League game vs. the Braves. "For me, I love watching the WBC games, and I think it's good for baseball that we see it and people are excited about the games.
"But I think the other side of that coin is that, you know, there's a reason Spring Training is really six weeks long. Most of that's for the pitchers, but it takes these guys a little while to get in shape. We're kind of building on innings and building on the legs, and then all of a sudden you get that excitement going and the adrenaline's flowing and they're gonna play. Guys are competitive and they're feeling good, and their mind is saying 'go,' but sometimes the body may not be quite ready."
The Marlins are still working through their Spring Training roster, with 47 players still in Jupiter, FL trying to make the 25-man list.
While Prado is on the mend, the Marlins will use both Miguel Rojas and Derek Dietrich in his place. Dietrich spent time at second base last season and as a utility infielder while Dee Gordon served his 80-game suspension and platooned at first base while filling in for an injured Justin Bour.
The Marlins have not determined when Prado will go on -- or be taken off -- the disabled list, which is now only 10 days.
"[Hamstrings are] tricky," Mattingly said. "I've seen a number of them, and it seems like there's a lot of setbacks with hamstrings. So trying to get guys to make sure they're healthy is a slippery slope sometimes, because the player usually wants to get out there."
Prado played in 153 games last season, batting .305 in a team-leading 600 at-bats.