Brian Anderson, come on down. The Miami Marlins have announced third baseman Martin Prado will not be ready to start the season at third base, so the Marlins’ No. 9 ranked prospect will begin the season at the hot corner.
The Miami Marlins could have three new starters in the infield from last season’s opening day roster. Anderson, who has impressed in his time at both Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans, will man third base. Miguel Rojas or JT Riddle will play at shortstop. Starlin Castro, the veteran picked up in the trade for Giancarlo Stanton will play second. The only holdover from last season is first baseman, Justin Bour.
Per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Prado experienced discomfort in his right leg while running on Tuesday, and the team said on Wednesday morning that the 34-year-old third baseman will start the season on the disabled list.
“Prado had not participated in any Spring Training games as he was recovering from right knee surgery,” Frisaro wrote. “Hamstring and right knee issues limited him to 37 games in 2017, and he was being eased back into game shape all Spring Training.”
The Miami Marlins could use his veteran leadership on the diamond as the team is rebuilding a roster of youth and speed. The lone power source in the lineup is Bour, and he has battled injuries the past two seasons.
Anderson, 24, was a third-round selection of the Marlins in 2014 out of Arkansas. At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, he also has experience playing second base. The Marlins see him as their third baseman of the future. He was impressive in the Arizona Fall League last season and showed his promise in the Sirius XM Futures Game at the All-Star Game Weekend at Marlins Park.
“[Prado] was borderline, anyway,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We really didn’t think he’d make Opening Day. We thought after that Philly series. But this probably pushes that timetable back.”
In 2017, Prado hit .250 with a .636 OPS over just 147 plate appearances. The 12-year veteran is a career .291 hitter with 97 home runs and 576 RBIs.
Mattingly said Anderson has been “knocking on the door” of making the opening day roster. He has gotten more time at the plate and in the field. It is the on-the-job training he needs to become a more complete ball player.
In 2017, Anderson had a breakthrough year, batting .275/.361/.492 with 22 home runs and 81 RBIs combined at Double-A and Triple-A. He also played in the SiriusXM Futures Game at Marlins Park, and he became a September callup with Miami.
In 25 big league games, Anderson had a slash line of .262/.337/369.
The Miami Marlins begin their season in two weeks when they host the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Mark beginning April 29.