Isan Díaz up; Chisholm goes on IL

April 28th, 2021

When the Marlins announced rookie Jazz Chisholm Jr. as their second baseman ahead of the 2021 season, the organization told Isan Díaz to continue getting better, stay positive and be patient. After all, something could happen for him to receive the call back to the Majors.

The Marlins on Wednesday placed Chisholm on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain and recalled Díaz from the alternate training site. Díaz found himself in the middle of three rallies in a 6-2 win over the Brewers at American Family Field. In a two-run second, he reached on an RBI obstruction error by pitcher Zack Godley. In a three-run fourth, Díaz led off with a walk and came around to score on Jesús Aguilar's three-run homer. In the fifth, he was intentionally walked, setting up Chad Wallach's RBI single.

"He looks fine," manager Don Mattingly said. "He looks good. I thought his BPs have been good; obviously doesn't mean a whole lot, but I thought his at-bats were good. He gets on a couple times today. Just missed a ball. It's good to have Isan here and really have a guy of that quality that you feel like you're going to put in, he's going to be fairly comfortable, give you good at-bats."

Díaz was the club's Opening Day second baseman in 2020, but he elected not to play following the COVID-19 outbreak. The 24-year-old returned on Sept. 11, before sustaining an injury three days later. In 56 big league games from 2019-20, Díaz has hit .174/.251/.294 with a .545 OPS. Díaz was part of the Christian Yelich trade with Milwaukee that also brought Lewis Brinson and No. 14 prospect Monte Harrison to Miami.

After Chisholm was named the second baseman, the Marlins kept Díaz at the alternate training site in Jacksonville, Fla., rather than have him on the taxi squad so that he could receive consistent at-bats. But when Brian Anderson landed on the IL to open a three-city, 10-game trip last Thursday, that meant promoting No. 8 prospect José Devers despite having never played above High-A. Díaz was added to the taxi squad and flew into San Francisco last Friday.

A second baseman, Díaz was seen taking grounders at the hot corner prior to Tuesday's game in Milwaukee. With Anderson out, super-utility player Jon Berti has started every game at third. Miguel Rojas is entrenched at short, while Devers was a backup option at short and second. Adding more defensive versatility will help Díaz moving forward.

"I was getting lots of reps," Díaz said of third base. "Just trying to get familiar over there positioning wise. Knowing the plays, the signs. Knowing where to position myself, and obviously it's a different side over there. Can't really drop down to the side [with throws] like I'm used to. Trying to get that arm to stay over the top over there and kind of get the ball to have some backspin and just getting used to that arm slot being over the top. But I feel great. I feel like I'm getting more comfortable over there, the more I continue to take ground balls and watch video."

Chisholm sustained his injury while stealing second base during the first inning of Tuesday night's 5-4 loss. He had gotten off to a hot start this season, slashing .290/.375/.551 with a .926 OPS -- best among all MLB second basemen -- in 21 games.

"I think being a little cautious," Mattingly said of Chisholm. "It's the hamstring. We tried to milk [Jorge] Alfaro through one, and it just doesn't go good. ... So it's like, 'Let's get this knocked out right away.' I think just the fact he's running from from third to home on that sac fly last night tells you that it wasn't like one of those where it's blown [and] you're looking at six weeks or something. This will be something that we'll be careful with, but I feel like he'll be back fairly quick."

Other injury updates
• Anderson, on the injured list since last Thursday with a left oblique strain, is fielding ground balls and throwing across the diamond. He has also begun taking balls off the tee and in soft toss.

"Obviously, all those are controlled settings, but he's not feeling anything," Mattingly said. "Feel like he is close, or will be really close to when he's eligible [to come off the IL]."

• Corey Dickerson (right groin tightness) was replaced in the bottom of the fourth inning of Wednesday's game with mild discomfort in his right groin. He is considered day to day.

"Feel like with the off-day tomorrow we'll see where he's at, but I've got a feeling he'll be able to play the next game," Mattingly said.

• Garrett Cooper also exited in the fourth inning with soreness in his left foot. X-rays came back negative. He is day to day like Dickerson.