Hamstring strain knocks Marlins' Ellis from Classic

Ichiro slated to make spring debut on Sunday vs. Astros

March 4th, 2017

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The left hamstring strain that has sidelined catcher A.J. Ellis since Tuesday will need about another 10 days of recovery, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said on Saturday.

The layoff will prevent the 35-year-old from participating in the World Baseball Classic for Team USA.

"He's definitely disappointed," Mattingly said. "I know he wanted to be part of that. He felt like it was going to be his last shot to be a part of that. He's disappointed, but A.J. knows he didn't want to go there and get hurt more, and not be able to be ready for the season."

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

The Marlins are confident Ellis will be back in time to get enough work in Spring Training to be ready for Opening Day on April 3 at Washington.

"We know it's a hamstring, and we're probably looking at 10-12 days before we actually get him back out there," Mattingly said. "We'll be cautious getting him back out there. We're not really that concerned as far as him being ready for the season."

Ellis has played in two Grapefruit League games, and has three at-bats. The veteran was signed in December to back up J.T. Realmuto.

Worth noting

•  is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET against the Astros at Roger Dean Stadium. Ichiro is slated to be used as the designated hitter. The 43-year-old outfielder has been out since Feb. 21 with a bruised right quadriceps and a stiff lower back. Mattingly said Ichiro should start in the outfield on Monday at home against the Mets.

•  Left-hander Jeff Locke started his throwing program on Saturday, playing catch on flat ground. Locke is dealing with left biceps tendinitis, and will slowly be built up.