Injuries mean new faces in infield for Marlins

Injuries mean new faces in infield for Marlins

MIAMI -- Injuries may be part of the game, but after having the left side of their infield decimated in a span of four days, the Marlins are open to trying pretty much everything.

You saw that on Wednesday night in their 7-5 loss to the Cardinals at Marlins Park. Dee Gordon, a Gold Glove Award-winning second baseman in 2015, started at shortstop, and Steve Lombardozzi was at second in his first big league game since '15.

"You're going to see [injuries] come in bunches, but not come like this," manager Don Mattingly said.

Since Sunday, the Marlins have placed their top two shortstops, Adeiny Hechavarria (left oblique strain) and Miguel Rojas (fractured right thumb), on the disabled list. Hechavarria is on the 10-day and Rojas the 60-day.

Prospect J.T. Riddle was scheduled to step in on Wednesday, but Miami's 12th-ranked prospect bruised the tip of his right index finger during early fielding drills. An X-ray came back negative, but the organization is evaluating whether he will also need to go on the DL.

"It's something you don't see that often, three shortstops," Riddle said. "Put some caution tape around shortstop, I guess."

Making matters worse, third baseman Martin Prado strained his right hamstring on Sunday, and he is also on the DL.

As the Marlins patch things together, here's five players -- either on the big league roster or in the organization -- who are candidates to fill in on the left side of the infield.

1. Gordon
On Wednesday, Gordon played shortstop for the first time since Sept. 29, 2013. He has 161 games at the position, with 148 starts. The former Gold Glove second baseman is now the likely shortstop until Riddle is ready.

2. Derek Dietrich
A shortstop in college at Georgia Tech, Dietrich will stay at third base, filling in for Prado. He has plenty of big league experience at second, but barring an emergency situation, Mattingly said the plan is to keep Dietrich at third.

3. Lombardozzi
A feel-good story, the 28-year-old had not been in the big leagues since 2015. Lombardozzi basically pushed for a tryout with an MLB club, driving down to Florida with his wife, Brooke. He called several farm directors, trying to get a look, and he made Miami's Triple-A New Orleans squad. Lombardozzi is primarily a second-base candidate, but he has played two games at shortstop and 20 at third base in the Majors.

4. Yefri Perez 
A speedster and switch-hitter, Perez is being developed as a super-utility player, although he has played mostly center field at Double-A Jacksonville. He is on the 40-man roster and has big league experience, but he's batting just .126 at Jacksonville.

5. Mike Aviles
The 36-year-old signed a Minor League deal recently, and he's in extended spring camp, getting ready to report to New Orleans. Aviles played most recently in the big leagues in 2016 with the Tigers. If he is brought to the big leagues, a corresponding 40-man roster move would have to be made.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for 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.