Jazz lands on IL, out 4-6 weeks with right turf toe

May 16th, 2023

MIAMI -- The Marlins will be without Jazz Chisholm Jr. for the next four to six weeks. The club on Tuesday afternoon placed its center fielder on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to Sunday) with right turf toe.

"It's not what you want from your star center fielder, and we put a lot on his plate early on in the year, in Spring Training, and he's done nothing but grow in that position and really started to swing the bat lately, too," manager Skip Schumaker said. "Definitely [a] tough loss, but from what we understand, it's a four- to six-week type of deal, and so looking forward to him getting healthy and getting back."

Chisholm injured his right big toe on the cement block of the left-center-field wall at loanDepot park on Saturday as he tried to make an inning-ending catch with ace Sandy Alcantara on the mound. X-rays came back negative, and the club initially called it a right foot contusion. At the time, Chisholm hoped to be ready to go on Sunday.

But Chisholm, who was limited to 60 games in 2022 because of a right lower back strain, saw specialist Dr. Robert Anderson on Monday in North Carolina to get more information.

“It was like one or two things: I could have jumped to make a better impact into the wall [or] I could have stopped early,” Chisholm said on Saturday about the play. “But then in my head, it's all about making that play. It's the eighth inning. Game’s tied, two outs, we're about to go up to hit. We could literally win the game here."

In January, the 25-year-old Chisholm volunteered a move to center field from second base, where he was an All-Star in 2022, if it meant Miami could add a bat to boost the lineup. Later that month, the Marlins acquired reigning American League batting champion Luis Arraez in a trade with the Twins.

Though Chisholm showed growing pains during Spring Training and the early part of the regular season, he entered Tuesday ranked in the 93rd percentile among Major Leaguers in outs above average and in the 92nd percentile for outfielder jump.

In Chisholm's absence, Schumaker said utility player Garrett Hampson, who has started the last two games, Peyton Burdick and even rookie Xavier Edwards could see time in center field.

"We'll try to play the matchups as best we can," Schumaker said. "Guys who have experience against that starting pitcher, maybe depends on what hand they throw. A lot of different options, but we'll try to mix and match as best as we can do."

With Chisholm joining Jesús Sánchez (right hamstring strain) on the injured list, the only left-handed batters on the active roster are Arraez and shortstop Joey Wendle. Edwards is a switch-hitter. Three-fourths of the Opening Day outfield is sidelined by injuries in Chisholm, Sánchez and Avisaíl García (left back tightness).

It's yet another blow to the lineup, as Chisholm was starting to find his swing by going deep in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. He slashed .229/.291/.403 with two doubles, one triple, seven homers, 16 RBIs and 14 steals in 39 games.

In order find more offense, Jorge Soler might play either of the corner-outfield spots on the road, depending on the ballpark. He has been primarily used as the designated hitter, particularly on loanDepot park's turf to avoid resurfacing the season-ending back trouble from 2022. Miami would like to have him, All-Star Garrett Cooper and Yuli Gurriel in the lineup at the same time as much as possible.

Asked whether he believes the club has enough on the current roster to compete, Schumaker said he does. Miami (20-21) entered Tuesday's series opener against Washington tied with Philadelphia for second in the National League East.

"I hate to say that we have all these injuries, because that is a discredit to the guys that we have in our clubhouse, in our system," Schumaker said. "We have plenty to win, and especially the guys on the mound. But guys have to step up. That's just the reality of it. Guys are not having the best month maybe that they wanted to have. It's time to turn the corner and step up right now."