Marlins' Prado Likely Out for Opening Day

Marlins third baseman Martin Prado is not expected to be ready for the start of the season

Miami Marlins third baseman Martin Prado will likely miss the start of the season with a hamstring strain.

Prado injured the hamstring during the World Baseball Classic while competing for Venezuela. While trying to beat out a ground ball, Prado came up lame and immediately left the game. After an MRI in South Florida on Saturday, Prado was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his hamstring.

While the diagnosis could have been worse, this is still an injury that will take time to heal. Even if Prado's leg feels better before Opening Day, he still will lose out on valuable time in spring training. It is possible that Miami could send Prado to the minor leagues for some rehab games before he returns to the team.

Without Prado, the Marlins will likely turn to Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas at third base. Both players have seen more time at the hot corner since Prado's injury, and both are capable of producing with their gloves and their bats. The left-handed Dietrich should see more of the time in a platoon, as there are more right-handed pitchers in the league.

During the off-season, the Marlins signed Prado to a long-term contract. That deal was not only offered due to his talent, but also Prado's leadership. Miami will hope to have the unofficial team captain and one of the team's best clutch bats back in the lineup as quick as possible.

The Marlins will begin the regular season on April 3 in Washington, D.C.

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