MIAMI -- For the first time since last July, JT Riddle is back in the big leagues. The Marlins on Saturday morning recalled the 26-year-old shortstop from Triple-A New Orleans.Adding Riddle was the corresponding move as third baseman Martin Prado was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left
MIAMI -- For the first time since last July, JT Riddle is back in the big leagues. The Marlins on Saturday morning recalled the 26-year-old shortstop from Triple-A New Orleans.
Adding Riddle was the corresponding move as third baseman Martin Prado was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. Prado sustained the injury while running to first base in the sixth inning on Friday in Miami's 9-5 loss to the Nationals at Marlins Park.
The Marlins wasted little time getting Riddle back into his first big league game since last July 19. The left-handed-hitting shortstop was in the lineup and batting seventh.
"You never hope for injuries, of course," said Riddle, who was the regular shortstop for a couple of months in the first half of 2017 before hurting his left shoulder. "It's kind of the reason I did get the call, but you never hope for that. I hope for the best for Prado, and hope he gets healthy and is able to be back and be able to help the team."
The arrival of Riddle resulted in Miguel Rojas, who has been manning shortstop all season, playing third base on Saturday.
Manager Don Mattingly said that Riddle likely will handle short, with Rojas and Brian Anderson as options at third base. But, for the short term, Anderson will still get plenty of starts in right field.
"That was the decision to leave Andy out there at right for now and go with JT," Mattingly said. "The unfortunate part about that was the Miggy move. He's earned to play every day. I think he understood, this makes us a better team."
Riddle appeared in 70 games as a rookie in 2017, batting .250/.282/.355 with three home runs and 31 RBIs. His season was cut short by a left shoulder injury, which required surgery last season.
"It's been a long road, recovery process, for me," Riddle said. "I'm very excited to be back."
Riddle was slowed in Spring Training with right shoulder tendinitis, and he opened the season on the disabled list before he was reinstated and optioned to New Orleans, where he was hitting .346/.400/.531 with three home runs and 19 RBIs in 21 games.
"It's part of the process of coming back," Riddle said. "Being off that long, you've got to get some games under your belt. I treated this last month as my Spring Training almost. I've been feeling really good, swinging the bat well. My body is feeling great."
Anderson opened the season at third base, and still projects as the third baseman of the future. But, for now, he will get plenty of work in right field.
"Guys are going to be switching positions," Anderson said. "It's nothing that guys haven't dealt with before. I think we're prepared. It's just tough to lose a guy like Martin in the clubhouse."
Prado, 34, has dealt with left hamstring issues since last year. The veteran opened the season on the DL due to his hamstring problems. In 24 games, he is hitting .194.
Additional tests will be taken on Prado, who is expected to miss substantial time.
"It's a rough one," Mattingly said. "I don't know if there is anyone who cares more than Martin. Just the pride in the way he plays, how he prepares. Everything he does is about being as good as he possibly can be, so it's really hard to see this."
A consummate pro, Prado is a leader on and off the field, and he sets an example for the young players.
"Martin, it's like he apologizes for getting hurt," Mattingly said. "If we had 25 Martins, we're going to win a championship. If we get 25 guys with that attitude and mindset, we're going to win a championship."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.