MIAMI — Dee Gordon is the Miami Marlins’ new starting shortstop, and that’s by default.
Adeiny Hechavarria and rookie J.T. Riddle became the third and fourth players on the left side the Marlins’ infield to be sidelined by injuries since Sunday. Hechavarria was placed on the 10-day DL Wednesday with a strained abdominal muscle and is expected to be out a couple of weeks, and Riddle was scratched from the lineup after bruising his right index finger while taking grounders in pregame drills.
“They have to put some caution tape out there around shortstop, just until everyone gets back and gets healthy,” Riddle said.
The injuries left two-time All-Star second baseman Gordon to start Wednesday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at shortstop, a position he last played since 2013. He handled four chances without an error in the Marlins’ 7-5 loss.
Third baseman Martin Prado is expected to be sidelined more than a month with a strained right hamstring, and utilityman Miguel Rojas — who had been the backup shortstop — went on the 60-day DL on Tuesday with a broken right thumb.
Don Mattingly said the challenge of so many injuries in one area was unique in his seven years as a major league manager.
“This is a new one,” he said. “It really tests the depth of the guys you have.”
He made those comments before the Marlins disclosed the injury to Riddle, who has 16 career at-bats in the majors.
Infielder Stephen Lombardozzi was selected from Triple-A New Orleans to take Hechavarria’s spot on the roster, and he was in the starting lineup at second base. Miami also designated right-hander Joe Gunkel for assignment.
The moves further deplete the Marlins’ already thin minor league system, and compound the woes of a team that has lost its past five series. Mattingly acknowledged a degree of disbelief at the misfortune.
“When stuff keeps happening you say, ‘What is going on?'” he said. “You get upset about it, because you know what’s going on behind the scenes trying to fill gaps with guys and trying to figure out our options.”
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