MIAMI -- The Marlins on Friday night are playing their 66th game of the season. For Rafael Furcal, it's like Opening Day.
Furcal has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his 2014 debut for Miami. To make space on the 40-man roster for Furcal, the Marlins designated right-hander Angel Sanchez, who was at Double-A Jacksonville. Sanchez was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay.
Miami obtained Sanchez last July as part of the Ricky Nolasco trade with the Dodgers.
Against the Pirates at Marlins Park, Furcal found himself in a familiar spot in the lineup, leading off. But he is playing second base for the first time since 2004.
The 36-year-old, who signed as a free agent for $3.5 million, also is returning to big league action for the first time since he was with the Cardinals in 2012. Furcal missed all of last year as he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
Furcal's comeback season got off on rough footing. In Spring Training, he strained his left hamstring and opened the season on the disabled list. During a rehab assignment game in late April with Double-A Jacksonville, Furcal suffered another setback when he strained his right groin.
Furcal played in six rehab assignment games from May 30-June 10 after recovering from his groin injury. In all, he batted .297 (11-for-37) with two doubles and four stolen bases.
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.