In high spirits, Prado to begin rehab at Jupiter

In high spirits, Prado to begin rehab at Jupiter

MIAMI -- Martin Prado watched the Marlins' first road trip so intently that he was simulating playing from his living room in South Florida. On Wednesday, the 33-year-old third baseman will get back to some real game action -- in a rehab-assignment game for Class A Advanced Jupiter.

If all goes as scheduled, Prado will play four straight games in the Minors before the Marlins will decide if he is ready to be reinstated from the 10-day disabled list. Prado opened the season on the DL with a right hamstring strain.

"I've been working really hard to get back sooner," Prado said. "Let me put it this way, [watching my teammates] got to the point where I was playing defense in my room. I was making plays. Diving on my bed. ... Just kidding."

Prado is in better spirits of late, because he's feeling better. The veteran injured his hamstring on March 15 while playing for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

Prado injured, leaves game

Manager Don Mattingly said the plan is for Prado to play five innings on Wednesday for the Hammerheads, followed by five more innings on Thursday. If there are no setbacks, Prado is lined up for seven innings on Friday and Saturday.

The Marlins close out their first homestand on Sunday against the Mets. It would appear doubtful he would be activated for that day, but it could be possible. If not, the Marlins' road trip, which starts on Monday in Seattle, would be the next likely target date.

The first step, though, is getting through Wednesday. On Tuesday, Prado ran the bases at Marlins Park prior to Miami's home opener with the Braves. He also took grounders at third base.

"The confidence in my mind, I have to build that up," Prado said. "That's what I have to do in the rehab assignment."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.