JUPITER, Fla. -- Martin Prado, who strained his right hamstring on Wednesday night while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, will return to the Marlins' Spring Training camp to be evaluated by team physicians.The club remains hopeful the injury is minor, but Miami is taking no chances after
JUPITER, Fla. -- Martin Prado, who strained his right hamstring on Wednesday night while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, will return to the Marlins' Spring Training camp to be evaluated by team physicians.
The club remains hopeful the injury is minor, but Miami is taking no chances after its starting third baseman limped off the field in Venezuela's 4-2 loss to Team USA at Petco Park in San Diego.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Prado, the Marlins' unofficial captain, pulled up while running to first after grounding out in the sixth inning. The trainers tended to him near first base, and then he walked slowly back to the dugout.
A mainstay at third base for Miami, Prado played left field for Venezuela on Wednesday night.
With Prado no longer participating in the World Baseball Classic, the question now becomes if there will be enough time for the 33-year-old to be ready for Opening Day, which is April 3 at Washington.
If Prado goes on the disabled list, it would be for 10 days instead of 15, due to a rule change for this season.
Should Prado not be ready for Opening Day, Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas would become the primary candidates to start at third base. Dietrich, who offers more power and is a left-handed-hitting option, could get a majority of the work.
The Marlins also like to be more flexible with Rojas, who plays all four infield spots.
As long as Prado is out, it also gives Miami more time to evaluate three of its infield prospects -- Brian Anderson, J.T. Riddle and Matt Juengel -- in Spring Training.
According to MLBPipeline.com, Anderson is the club's No. 3-ranked prospect and Riddle is ranked 13th.
All three are expected to open the season in the Minor Leagues.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.