Marlins notebook: Infielder Derek Dietrich to don clear mask
JUPITER, Fla. — Marlins infielder Derek Dietrich debuted a new accessory Monday morning for a minor-league intrasquad game.
Dietrich, who sustained a small fracture on the bridge of his nose last Thursday, wore a clear mask to protect his face when he played second base.
It marked his first action in a game since a high hop off the bat of Jon Jay hit him on a would-be double play. He went 0 for 4.
The 24-year-old plans on using the mask, which was made by the same doctor who created LeBron James’ last month, over the next 10 days. He placed eye black stickers on it to help with the glare.
"It’s not affecting vision or defense or anything like that," Dietrich said. "He’s pretty much an artist back there, a sculptor in his office. He sends it to get molded. It comes back and he cuts it and works it around the eyes and mouth. It’s a process."
First base coach Perry Hill will hold onto the mask when Dietrich is at the plate. If he gets on, he will wear it to run.
Dietrich hopes to return for the Grapefruit League game on Tuesday against the Cardinals. Had it not been a minor fracture, the injury generally takes 2-3 weeks to fully heal.
"This thing’s feeling pretty good," Dietrich said. "It’s a lot better than we anticipated. Not really any bruising or swelling. It was minimal. Play it by ear."
Along with Dietrich, Rafael Furcal and Greg Dobbs made appearances in the intrasquad minor-league game that was cut short by rain.
Furcal went 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and a run as the designated hitter. The second baseman initially strained his hamstring March 10 and re-aggravated it five days later.
Asked whether he’ll be ready for Opening Day, Furcal said it was still a day-to-day evaluation. He didn’t "feel anything" on Monday.
"We’ll see. We keep working. That’s why we’re in spring training," Furcal said. "We see every day and tomorrow go minor league again and try a little harder and see what happens."
Should Furcal start the season on the disabled list, it would be retroactive to March 21 so long as he doesn’t play in an A game. He would need to sit out seven days before making his return on April 6 at Marlins Park against the Padres.
"Given his experience you give him the time he needs knowing he’ll make the right decision," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.
Furcal said he would prefer to lose a couple days rather than a whole month if he’s not 100 percent.
"Now that we’re in spring training you take what you take. If you cannot play they have to put somebody else," Furcal said. "I want to be healthy. I’m hungry to play and that way is the only way I can help the team is (to) play every day."
Dobbs (lower body) finished 1 for 3 with a single at first base. He also hit a fly ball that was caught at the warning track in right and a liner snared by the first baseman.
Both Dobbs and Dietrich will play in the Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals.
The Marlins reassigned catcher Kyle Skipworth to minor-league camp on Monday morning.
Skipworth, 24, went 0 for 11 over parts of 11 spring training games. He will start the season in Triple-A New Orleans.
There are now 38 players left in camp, including the two Opening Day catchers — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jeff Mathis — with one week of spring training remaining.
HECHAVARRIA LEAVES EARLY
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria exited Monday afternoon’s game with tightness in his groin.
Hechavarria felt the discomfort in the third inning when Tom Koehler bunted him over to second following his single to right. Austin Nola replaced Hechavarria in the fifth.
"Got him out of there," Redmond said. "We’ll probably give him a day or two to make sure everything’s fine."
— Outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who left Sunday’s game with a cramp, went through baseball activities on Monday. Redmond gave him the day off but expects him in the lineup on Tuesday.
"I’m OK," Ozuna said. "I’m good to go."
— The Marlins’ pitching schedule for the week is as follows: Jose Fernandez (Tuesday), Nathan Eovaldi (Wednesday), Brad Hand (Thursday) and Jacob Turner (Friday). Henderson Alvarez will start a minor-league game on Thursday.
— The Marlins received a scare on Sunday when Tigers righty Joe Nathan hit Giancarlo Stanton with a pitch in the ninth inning.
Redmond initially thought it got the 24-year-old slugger in the back of the hand, but it hit him on the forearm.
"I think you’re always concerned, but at the same time too guys are competing and guys are trying to get him out and he’s trying to get a big hit off of them," Redmond said. "You just hope if he does get hit it’s not a big injury. Guys get hit all the time — it’s a part of the game. You don’t want to see guys get hurt."