Yelich gets another breather with tight lower back

Marlins cautious with young left fielder, who could return Thursday

Yelich gets another breather with tight lower back

ATLANTA -- Playing it safe, the Marlins on Wednesday gave left fielder Christian Yelich a breather for the second straight game as he continues to receive treatment on his tight lower back.

Manager Mike Redmond said the 23-year-old felt "much better" on Wednesday morning, and there is a chance he could be in the lineup on Thursday when Miami opens a four-game set at the Mets.

"He will be re-evaluated [Thursday]," Redmond said.

Even if Yelich is ready to go in the opener at the Mets, the club traditionally has given players in a similar situation an extra day. So if not Thursday, Yelich could return Friday.

"It kind of hasn't been feeling good for the last few days," Yelich said. "I kind of tried to play through it, and it was making it worse."

Yelich was actually hoping to play on Tuesday at Turner Field. He did some hitting in the cage, but he wasn't comfortable. So trainer Sean Cunningham and Redmond agreed the left fielder needed a couple of days off.

Yelich spent time on the disabled list last season with a back issue, but he said the discomfort now is not as severe as it was during his DL stint.

The 2014 National League Gold Glove Award winner made a tumbling catch on Monday night at Atlanta, but he said he didn't tweak his back on that play. He injured his back on Sunday at Marlins Park against the Rays.

"It wasn't from that play," Yelich said. "It was already going on."

With Yelich getting a couple of days to rest, Ichiro Suzuki got the start in left field Wednesday.

"Give it a day or two, and hopefully [I'll] be back at it," Yelich said. "I don't know. It just kind of grabbed."

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.