The Marlins have placed shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on the 10-day DL due to a left oblique strain. Infielder J.T. Riddle will take Hechavarria’s spot on Miami’s 25-man roster. The severity of the injury isn’t yet known, though even mild oblique injuries have a tendency to linger, so the Fish could be careful with Hechavarria this early in the season.
Acquired as part of the 12-player blockbuster trade with the Blue Jays in November 2012, Hechavarria has since become Miami’s everyday shortstop with a track record of excellent defense and below-average hitting. Hechavarria has particularly come into his own with his glove since the start of the 2015 season, accumulating 19 Defensive Runs Saved and a +13 UZR/150 in that span. At the plate, however, Hechavarria has managed just a .254/.291/.335 slash line in 2356 career PA, including an ugly .594 OPS over 547 PA in 2016. The Marlins were reportedly willing to discuss Hechavarria in trades for pitching this winter, though no deal materialized in what was a pretty quiet offseason market for shortstops.
Hechavarria’s injury further hampers an already thinned-out infield situation for the Marlins, as Martin Prado is still on the DL with a strained hamstring. Derek Dietrich has been manning third base with Prado out, and Miguel Rojas is likely to get most of the playing time at short with Hechavarria out, though the Marlins could use the left-handed hitting Riddle in a temporary platoon with Rojas (a righty-swinger) as Riddle gets his first taste of big league action.
A 13th-round pick for Miami in the 2013 draft, the 25-year-old Riddle has a .276/.319/.370 slash line over 1613 career plate appearances in the minors. Baseball America ranked Riddle as the 21st-best prospect in the Marlins’ system, describing the Kentucky product as a possible future utilityman with a good glove and a strikeout-limiting swing, plus “high marks for leadership and makeup.”