Amezaga out for season, to have surgery

Amezaga out for season, to have surgery

PHOENIX -- The Marlins will have to play the remainder of the season without their "secret weapon."

All-purpose Alfredo Amezaga, a valuable utility player known for energizing the Marlins, will undergo microfracture surgery on his left knee on Monday, which will cause him to miss the rest of the year.

On the disabled list since May 21, retroactive to May 17, Amezaga has been dealing with a bone bruise to the knee. Last week, the 31-year-old was examined by Dr. Richard Steadman, who will perform the surgery in Vail, Colo.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez frequently refers to Amezaga as a "secret weapon," because he can be used in so many different positions. A natural middle infielder, he is an above-average defensive center fielder. He's also a switch-hitter, and he was frequently used in double-switch moves late in the game.

The Marlins have missed the flexibility Amezaga offers.

Before the Marlins beat the Giants, 7-0, on Wednesday in San Francisco, Amezaga was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. To add a backup infielder, Andy Gonzalez had his contract purchased from Triple-A New Orleans, and outfielder Alejandro De Aza was optioned to New Orleans.

Depth in the infield has become an issue in recent days because All-Star shortstop Hanley Ramirez has missed four straight games with a tight right hip flexor. Third baseman Emilio Bonifacio has played shortstop in place of Ramirez, and Wes Helms has played third base.

The Marlins open a four-game series with the D-backs in Arizona beginning on Thursday. Ramirez took batting practice before Wednesday's game in San Francisco, and indications are he could be ready to start on Thursday.

Amezaga last played on May 16, and he's appeared in 27 games this season, batting .217. He has a .251 career batting average, but his value to the club has been his ability to play above-average defense in the infield and center field.

It's been an injury-plagued season for Amezaga, who suffered a right knee sprain while playing for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. He opened the season on the disabled list, before being activated on April 12.

The bone bruise occurred when he was running the bases on May 16 against the Dodgers. Since then, he continually felt discomfort, and he hasn't done any baseball-related activities.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.