Derek Dietrich may have seen his slim chances of winning a roster spot go out the window on Thursday when a ground ball broke his nose.
Dietrich was in the field at second base in the fifth inning at the time of the injury. The ball took a bad-hop, according to a report from ESPN. Jon Jay was the batter and Dietrich was on the ground for roughly a minute before being helped off by a trainer. X-rays at a hospital soon after confirmed that Dietrich had fractured his nose.
The Marlins' media department released a photo of Dietrich upon his arrival back at the stadium. In the photo, Dietrich has a bruise and cuts near his eye showing where the ball made impact with his face.
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While it would seem on the surface that this type of injury could keep Dietrich out of the lineup for a while, he is confident that it won't.
"I think I can get back in the lineup pretty soon. I got lucky. Right now I feel fine as far as my head. We'll ice it up today and see where we're at tomorrow," Dietrich said, according to ESPN.
With Rafael Furcal penciled in at second, there doesn't appear to be a position available for Dietrich, which is why he is expected to be sent to the minor leagues despite his great spring. The Marlins likely want to see Dietrich get at-bats regularly, which wouldn't be possible in a reserve role at the big-league level. He hasn't been demoted yet, but missing time with this injury will make it more difficult for Dietrich to convince the Marlins to keep him around.
"We've gotten him out there a lot, and he's swinging the bat well. You don't want to see anybody get hurt this late in the spring. It looks like he's going to be OK, and it's just a matter of when we can get him back out there," manager Mike Redmond added in the report.
While Dietrich is out, Donovan Solano should see an increase in playing time as he continues to try and beat out Ed Lucas for a reserve role on the team.