LOS ANGELES -- Ever the optimist, Marlins manager Don Mattingly promised that good things were happening behind the scenes, and now comes the word that infielder Martin Prado could be back by the upcoming homestand.
Prado, still out as he continues to recover from last year's knee surgery, had a rehab game at Class A Advanced Jupiter on Wednesday. The Marlins will wait to see how the veteran comes out of it physically before deciding the next move. Prado was playing on back-to-back days for the first time.
"As long as it goes good [Wednesday] and he wakes up [Thursday] feeling good, I think there is a good chance we will see him on this homestand," Mattingly said.
The Marlins have an off-day Thursday, then open a three-game series against the Rockies on Friday before playing host to the Phillies for three games beginning next week.
While Prado has shown an ability to play all over the field, Mattingly plans on using him on the infield, primarily at third base. But Mattingly would still like to get Brian Anderson's bat in the lineup as well. Anderson has been the everyday third baseman since the start of the season.
"We'll mix [Anderson] in with some outfield and maybe some first [base], and find ways to get both in the lineup," Mattingly said.
Although Prado, 34, has made 265 appearances in the outfield over his 12 seasons, Mattingly does not plan on tapping into his expertise there.
"At this point, I think [outfield] is probably best for [Anderson]," said Mattingly, who added that Anderson will be working with outfield coach Fredi Gonzalez.
The plan for Prado is to give him at least one day of rest each week moving forward, and possibly two.
"He's not old, but he's getting older," Mattingly said.
Rotation help is getting near
While there are reports that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (elbow strain) will return to the Marlins' rotation during the upcoming weekend, Mattingly remained noncommittal. He said that Chen and right-hander Dan Straily (forearm strain) still need one more bullpen session under the supervision of the Major League coaching staff before a final decision on their status is made.
Garcia's innings to be monitored
Jarlin Garcia's emergence in the rotation has been one of the Marlins' few pleasant surprises and the club will be careful to not overuse the left-hander. As a reliever in 2017, Garcia threw less than 60 innings, although he did throw 133 2/3 Minor League innings in 2014 and 2015.
"We will see what is best for him, where that progression goes to after last year and how far we can go with that," said Mattingly, who declined to give a ballpark idea on what that innings total might be.
In three starts, Garcia has given up just one run on five hits over 17 innings.