Spring Training is nearing it’s end. That means players injured either during the spring or recovering from offseason surgeries are running out of time to get healthy for Opening Day.
For the Miami Marlins, two key players currently fit that mold.
Logan Morrison put off knee surgery last offseason and struggled with the injury all season long. He finally decided to have surgery this past offseason and is not going to be available for the Marlins on Opening Day.
Morrison hopes with proper progression from his knee surgery, he will be ready for game action, more than likely a rehab stint, by mid-April. For now, he is working on rehabilitation for his knee.
“By April, I should be running on solid ground,” Morrison said.
On Monday, LoMo did some hitting off of a tee. This is a very small step, but it is good news that he will soon be returning to the Marlins lineup, likely to bat behind Giancarlo Stanton. Because this is his second surgery on the same knee, the Marlins will not be rushing Morrison to return too quickly.
If Logan Morrison can into minor league games by mid-April, chances are good that he could make his debut sometime around May 1st.
In the mean time, Casey Kotchman, a non-roster invitee, who has enjoyed a strong Spring Training, is expected to be the Marlins regular first baseman. Kotchman has a slash line of .455/.486/.667 so far this spring. Kotchman has limited upside, but his infield defense should be a major bonus to the Marlins roster.
Jeff Mathis Eying Early May Return
The other player nursing an injury for the Marlins is backup catcher Jeff Mathis. Mathis was injured in the Marlins first Spring Training game, when he took a foul tip off of the bat of Matt Holliday to the chest. Mathis remained in the game, but was later removed and found out he had a broken collarbone.
His initial prognosis was that he would miss four-to-six weeks. Mathis would be really pressing it to make a return in April. Mathis has set early-May as his target date to be back in the majors
“I’m hoping that the beginning of May, I’m back in a big league game.”
Mathis will be examined on Friday, by Dr. Frank Cook, the team physician, and another X-ray will be taken. The X-ray could reveal how soon Mathis will return.
Up until this point, it has not seemed like the Marlins have been targeting any outsiders to fill in for Mathis as the backup, but that could change at any time, if the right player becomes available.
For now, it seems like the Marlins will give former first round pick Kyle Skipworth a shot. Skipworth has been disappointing with the bat so far this spring, with a slash line of .174/.259/.261. While his offense has been far from impressive, Skipworth’s defense has been a joy to watch and it’s not like the team could expect much from Mathis’ bat, either.
For more player injury updates and other news, please stay tuned to Marlin Maniac.