IF Rafael Furcal likely to start season on DL

After missing the 2013 season following Tommy John surgery, Rafael Furcal has been hampered by a strained left hamstring and likely will start the season on the DL.

Scott Rovak

JUPITER, Fla. — Though it has not been made official, Marlins second baseman Rafael Furcal will likely begin the season on the disabled list.

"We’ve talked to (Furcal) and it looks like he could be headed to the DL," manager Mike Redmond said. "We’ll make that decision probably on Sunday."

Furcal, who missed the 2013 season after Tommy John surgery, has been hampered by a strained left hamstring.

The 36-year-old initially hurt the hamstring March 10 and re-aggravated it five days later upon his return. Over just seven spring games, Furcal hit .167 (3 for 18) with no runs or RBI.

"This is a guy that’s been out for awhile, hasn’t played a lot the past couple of years," Redmond said. "We want to make sure we’re doing the right thing for him. We know this guy is a gamer and warrior and wants to be out here, but at the same time too we need him for the long haul."

On Monday, the 13-year veteran was the designated hitter in a minor-league game shortened by rain. He went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and a run but was cautious rounding the bases.

Miami Marlins news

The Marlins told Furcal to take the next couple of days off before traveling to Miami with the team.

Should he land on the DL, Furcal would be eligible to come off it April 6 at Marlins Park against the Padres because he last played March 21.

"He’s going to have to play in some games and prove that his legs are good," Redmond said. "I think that was another one of our concerns and his concern too. He doesn’t want to rush and go down there in the first inning Opening Day, pull his hamstring and have to come out. We want to establish health and feel like he doesn’t have to rush."

Derek Dietrich, who is batting .349 with four doubles, a homer and eight RBI in 20 spring games, would be the guy to fill in with Furcal out.

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.