MIAMI — A flurry of jerseys wearing No. 42 took the field for Tuesday night’s game at Marlins Park.
Both Miami and Washington took part in a league-wide celebration of Jackie Robinson Day by honoring the first African American player in Major League Baseball.
"I remember back to being a player where it was a choice. Each guy individually got a choice whether to wear 42 or not," manager Mike Redmond said. "I think now that everyone wears it it’s great. It’s really neat when you get to see all the 42s running around. It’s a testament to the game. I’m glad that they changed that. I’m glad everybody’s on board doing the same thing. It’s a better tribute to him."
Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. They won six pennants in his 10 seasons. Robinson was named National League Most Valuable Player in 1949 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
His importance to the history of the game continues to be taught to this day. Left fielder Christian Yelich had to do a school project on him and was aware of his impact as a young player in baseball.
"It’s my first time getting to do it in the big leagues," Yelich said. "It’s exciting. Obviously Jackie Robinson changed the game. He was a very influential person. It’s an exciting honor."
STARTING ROTATION DECISION IMPENDING
A decision has not yet been made in regards to the starting rotation spot left-hander Brad Hand took over with righty Jacob Turner on the disabled list.
Hand has given up eight runs on 12 hits over 6 1/3 innings in two starts. He began the season with two scoreless outings from the bullpen before the switch.
"We’re still working on that," Redmond said. "We’re still talking about it, what direction we want to go."
Should the Marlins elect to go with someone else, long reliever Kevin Slowey could take his place. Slowey has come in relief of Hand both times. Hand is out of options, so he would have to stay in bullpen.
Other choices include right-handed reliever Carter Capps, who has thrown four scoreless outings in Triple-A New Orleans. Lefty Brian Flynn made four starts in 2013, going 0-2 with an 8.50 ERA. He allowed six runs on 11 hits in 10 innings during spring training.
Turns out all outfielder Marcell Ozuna needed was some TLC.
Ozuna returned to the lineup Tuesday night starting in center and batting second two games after fouling a ball off his foot in Philadelphia.
"I thought it was broken, but then the trainer gave me medicine and said, ‘Let’s see what happens,’ " Ozuna said. "The next day my wife gave me a massage with hot and cold water. It felt better."
The 23-year-old was on crutches after Sunday’s game. He was available to pinch hit on Monday. Ozuna is batting .280 with two homers and four RBI in 13 games.
"It hurt a lot but now it feels great," Ozuna said.
TURNER BEGINS REHAB
Marlins right-hander Jacob Turner took his first step to recovery by playing catch on Tuesday following the team stretch.
Turner went on the 15-day disabled list last Wednesday — instead of making his start — with a right shoulder strain.
"Definitely gotten better the last couple of days," Turner said. "I’ve been able to do everything pain-free the last three days."
The 22-year-old called the injury a "freak thing," which he feels in the back of his shoulder. It occurred while taking a swing during pitchers’ batting practice in the cages.
Turner, who has never been on the DL, doesn’t know how his schedule will play out. It depends on how he responds to the workload.
"It feels like it’s getting better, and that’s the biggest thing," Turner said. "It doesn’t look like it was anything too serious."