Marlins to place Kelly, Mathis on DL with broken fingers

Mathis could be out 4-6 weeks; Kelly to be evaluated by hand specialist

Marlins to place Kelly, Mathis on DL with broken fingers

MIAMI -- The Marlins suffered a couple of bad, fluky breaks on Sunday. Ironically, they had two players go down with the same injury.

Catcher Jeff Mathis and utility infielder Don Kelly each sustained fractured right ring fingers. Kelly's mishap came in the third inning, and Mathis went down in the eighth inning of Sunday's 8-5 loss to the Rays.

Mathis' fracture is around the knuckle, and he estimates being out four to six weeks. Kelly's fracture is at the tip, and he also lost half of his fingernail. He will know more about his status after being examined by a hand specialist.

Mathis leaves game

"We talked about keeping guys healthy all spring, and we were able to do it," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's one of those things in baseball that happens. Unfortunately, it happened on the same day to two guys. We've got to be able to pick up, patch it together and move on. That's baseball."

Both players will be placed on the disabled list on Monday, and the team plans on making corresponding roster moves before taking on the Braves at Turner Field.

Miami's 40-man roster is full, but the club can transfer Jose Fernandez or Aaron Crow from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for up to two players.

Miami likely will call up Triple-A New Orleans catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is on the 40-man roster. New Orleans infielder Reid Brignac, not on the roster yet, is the frontrunner to replace Kelly.

Getting the start at third base, Kelly handled what appeared to be a routine ground ball off the bat of Rene Rivera. It turned into a freak injury. Before the ball went into his glove, it deflected off the tip of his finger.

Kelly threw Rivera out at first base, but his finger was bloodied, and he was quickly replaced by Donovan Solano.

Kelly was making his first start, as veteran Martin Prado was being given a day off. The 35-year-old had one at-bat, a groundout to first in the second inning, before being replaced.

"Freak injury," Kelly said. "I felt it hit. Finished the play, and didn't even think too much of it. Then, I looked down and it was just gushing blood."

Mathis, Miami's backup, fractured his finger on a foul tip off the bat of Tim Beckham in the eighth inning. Jarrod Saltalamacchia replaced Mathis.

"Once it hit my hand, it felt like my knuckle was in the palm of my hand," Mathis said. "That's why I walked to the mound. It turned black and blue."

The twist is, Kelly is also Miami's emergency third catcher.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.