He’s Baaack! The Miami Marlins were happy to have shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who's played in but five games this year, back in the lineup. Hechavarria was activated before the Marlins' three-game series with Padres, which opened on Friday.
With Hechavarria's oblique strain healed, he settles in alongside third baseman Martin Prado as the team continues its nine-game, three-city, 11-day trip. The Marlins are now at full strength in their lineup.
Per MLB.com, Hechavarria was back in the lineup against the Padres on Friday. He went 0-for-3 in a 5-3 loss.
"This is the first game really with what we envisioned as our infield,'' Mattingly said. "So it's nice to have that.''
Hechavarria gives the Marlins a boost, especially with his glove. Since 2015, his defensive WAR (3.3) is the fourth-best in the big leagues.
The Marlins were able to count on Derek Dietrich, Miguel Rojas and JT Riddle in their absence, but now can focus on a lineup Mattingly envisioned prior to the start of the 2017 season.
"There are no restrictions, we don't have to cut him off at any certain amount of innings,'' Mattingly said. "We feel he is 100 percent.''
To make room on the 25-man roster, the club optioned shortstop J.T. Riddle to Triple-A New Orleans.
As Tim Healey wrote on sun-sentinel.com, Riddle was about as-advertised in his first taste of big league action. In eight games, he went 2 for 14 (.143) with six strikeouts, no walks and three RBI while providing reliable defense at short.
Both of his hits were memorable: a dibbler single as the first of his career, then a walk-off homer against the Mets on Sunday.