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Prado has setback, will begin season on DL

Injury opens door for Anderson to start at third base for Marlins
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins are bracing to open the season without one of their most prominent veteran leaders.

Martin Prado experienced discomfort in his right leg while running on Tuesday, and the team said on Wednesday morning that the 34-year-old third baseman will start the season on the disabled list.

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Marlins are bracing to open the season without one of their most prominent veteran leaders.

Martin Prado experienced discomfort in his right leg while running on Tuesday, and the team said on Wednesday morning that the 34-year-old third baseman will start the season on the disabled list.

Prado had not participated in any Spring Training games as he was recovering from right knee surgery. Hamstring and right knee issues limited him to 37 games in 2017, and he was being eased back into game shape all Spring Training.

With Prado sidelined, Brian Anderson, the Marlins' No. 9 prospect as ranked by MLB Pipeline, will step in as the starting third baseman.

"[Prado] was borderline, anyway," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We really didn't think he'd make Opening Day. We thought after that Philly series. But this probably pushes that timetable back."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

The Marlins open on March 29 against the Cubs at Marlins Park.

The discomfort is behind Prado's right knee.

The initial hope was Prado would be ready after Miami's three-game road trip at Philadelphia on April 6-8. Now, it appears doubtful he will be back for the home series with the Mets, beginning April 9.

Prado required season-ending surgery on his knee last July.

In 2017, Prado hit .250 with a .636 OPS over just 147 plate appearances. The 12-year veteran is a career .291 hitter with 97 home runs and 576 RBIs.

"We were trying to be slow with him and make sure that he was slow in the process," Mattingly said. "I guess as he got into a little more volume again, he felt it and stopped."

Anderson, 24, now will get the opportunity to step up and play regularly.

"He's been kind of knocking on that door, anyway," Mattingly said. "So obviously, it puts more playing time on him. It's fair to say that it opens the door for him."

In 2017, Anderson had a breakthrough year, batting .275/.361/.492 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs combined at Double-A and Triple-A. He also played in the SiriusXM Futures Game at Marlins Park, and he became a September callup with Miami.

In 25 big league games, Anderson had a slash line of .262/.337/369.

"We think a lot of the things that happened for him last year are really good for him this year," Mattingly said. "Being able to get up last year and play a little bit. He had some success. Some probably not as much as he'd like, but enough to know what this is all about. This is his second camp. He's definitely a lot more comfortable this year."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Brian Anderson, Martin Prado