Posted on March 19, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The Miami Marlins received some good news and some bad news regarding third baseman Martin Prado, who underwent an MRI following a hamstring injury he suffered during the World Baseball Classic earlier in the week. The good news is that the MRI only revealed a Grade 1 hamstring strain and a slight calf strain, which is a far better diagnosis than Prado was expecting. The bad news is that the injury is bad enough to prevent Prado from playing on opening day.
“Best scenario now is not Opening Day,” Prado told reporters Sunday morning. “I’m just hoping we can get fixed and not worry about feeling this during the regular season.”
Prado admits to being worried initially after pulling up lame trying to run out an infield single while playing for Team Venezuela.
“I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know exactly what was going on with my leg,” Prado explains. “After I talked to the doctor, I was just concerned and disappointed that I let my teammates down. I let the Marlins down because I was not able to come back here healthy. I was not sleeping. I was so worried about myself, worried about the team and worried about the future. So after I talked to a doctor it was a big relief to me.”
The Marlins know Prado won’t be available on opening day, but other than that, the club isn’t sure when to expect him back and are declining to put a timetable on his return.
“We’re just not putting a timetable on it, because that’s the problem, too,” said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. “We say, ‘Oh, he’s only going to miss two weeks.’ Then that two weeks comes and he’s thinking, ‘I’ve got to be ready by then.’ If he’s not quite ready, then he’s not quite ready. So I’d rather say, ‘We’re going to get him healthy. Make sure he’s healthy.'”
Prado also says he has no interest in rushing back before he’s ready.
“I want to make sure I’m 100 percent the whole way, and not trying to rush,” Prado said. “First of all, we’re going to get pain-free running, that’s basically our main goal now. After that, (I want) to be strong, to hold up and have a healthy hamstring.”
With Prado unavailable, Derek Dietrich figures to begin the season as Miami’s third baseman, with Miguel Rojas also being an option. Dietrich has become a reliable utility man for the Marlins over the past couple of years and should be a capable fill-in at third base. Rojas is less established in the majors but is having a strong spring. However, the Marlins haven’t ruled out bringing in a player from outside the organization based on how quickly Prado recovers.
“The roster part, I think we just wait,” Mattingly explains. “There’s no reason for us to have to make any decisions. We’ll have discussions, they’ve already started on different scenarios. As we get to the end of camp, we’ll have a probably really good feel of how long Martin is going to miss, or at least a pretty good estimate. That will help us make a decision.”
Prado has become an important part of Miami’s lineup since joining the Marlins in 2015, and so losing him for the early part of the season will hurt the team’s chances of getting off to a fast start. The injury doesn’t appear to be too serious, but the Marlins remain unsure of how soon they can expect Prado to return, adding an element of uncertainty to the early part of Miami’s season.