Prado returns, but exits with calf cramp

Prado returns, but exits with calf cramp

SEATTLE -- The aura of long-awaited excitement permeated through the Marlins' visiting clubhouse before Monday's 6-1 loss to the Mariners.

Veteran third baseman Martin Prado was in the lineup.

"It feels great to have 'The Captain' back," Miami shortstop Miguel Rojas said. "It's not just because of his bat or his glove, it's because of what he represents as a player in this clubhouse. I feel it's a great way to have him back, winning and having a good record already. And I'm sure he's ready to go and excited to be back in the lineup."

Prado was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list after being sidelined with a right hamstring strain suffered on March 15 while playing for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic. But in his first game back, Prado was removed in the bottom of the seventh inning because of a cramp in his calf.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Prado's exit was just a precautionary move.

"It was one of those things where we weren't going to take any chances," Mattingly said, "so we wanted to stop that before it went anywhere."

Prado went 1-for-3 with a single in his 2017 debut.

Before the game, Prado said he felt no restrictions regarding the hamstring, and that all he would worry about was playing.

"I'm good," said Prado, who slashed .305/.359/.417 with eight home runs and 75 RBIs in 2016. "I tested it pretty good defensively and running around, so at this stage I can stop thinking about it and just go out there. One of the things I have to be on top of is just stretching and making sure that … I'm loose. But I'm ready to go."

With Prado's return comes a bit of a dilemma for the Marlins, who risked losing infield depth by designating right-handed-hitting first baseman Tyler Moore for assignment. Before that, the Marlins talked about Moore being a possible emergency catcher. Now, he may wind up with another organization, if he doesn't clear waivers and accept the assignment to Triple-A New Orleans.

"We talked about a lot of different scenarios, and really what happened this weekend with our pitching in [last Thursday's] 16-inning game [against the Mets], we didn't think we could lose a pitcher at this point," Mattingly said. "We were trying to really get back to normal and keep Tyler, but we just couldn't afford to do it after that last weekend, so Tyler was the guy that we had to designate.

"Games like the other day kind of set you back two or three days. I think we survived that OK, but we're still having some ill effects from that game."

Moore's game-tying single

Miami continues to go with a four-man bench and carry eight relievers. Jarlin Garcia, who was called up Friday, has impressed in two outings, and he gives Mattingly a left-handed bullpen option. The Marlins didn't have a lefty reliever, and opponents stacked up their left-handed hitters in a row.

So now, the Marlins have plenty of bullpen options. And they have their regular third baseman in Prado.

"It's good to have him around, for sure," Mattingly said of Prado. "He's just solid. You know he's going to be in the right spot and give you good at-bats. We've missed him, honestly.

"He's one of the leaders on our club, and it's good to get him back."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.