While running up the first base line on a ground ball in the sixth inning for Venezuela, Martin Prado pulled up and appeared to be clutching his hamstring. According to Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel, it appears to be a mild strain. Still, taking precautions, especially at this time of year, Prado has rejoined the Miami Marlins at their spring training facility in Jupiter. Prado will return today and undergo further tests tomorrow to determine the severity of the injury.
Possibly losing Prado could be monumental to this young Marlins team. Not just because of the veteran leadership that he provides, but also the stability that he provides at the hot corner. Last year, Prado played in 146 games for the Marlins while holding down third base and providing a hot bat the entire season, finishing with a .972 fielding percentage and batting to a .305 average.
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Who can hold the corner?
While depth at position spots is not the Marlins’ strong point this year, they do have a few options for infielders who can help. The obvious answer would be Derek Dietrich, who filled in for Dee Gordon during last year’s 80-game suspension. Dietrich logged a total of 13 games at third base last year and has played 40 games over his career at the hot corner. Dietrich also had a decent season at the plate, batting to the tune of a .279 average and a career-high 42 RBI. And who could forget this gem?
Miguel Rojas could also provide the Marlins with some help, as the utility man played every infield position aside from catcher at some point for the Marlins last year. Known more for his glove than his bat, Rojas hit for a dismal .247 batting average in 214 plate appearances.
The Marlins do have a little bit of depth, though. J.T. Riddle, the Marlins’ number 13 prospect according to MLB.com’s top 30 prospects list, could be called up from the minors. Last year between AA and AAA combined, Riddle batted .276 while driving in 54 RBI. Riddle has also made a decent showing this spring for the Fish.
Without any additional money or bench space to spend on a free agent, and a depleted farm system from awful trades (*cough* Andrew Cashner), the Marlins are going to have to do something internally to solve their problem.