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What does Rafael Furcal’s rehab assignment mean for Derek Dietrich?

Derek Dietrich
Derek Dietrich
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Miami Marlins veteran infielder Rafael Furcal began his minor league rehab assignment in Single-A Jupiter on Monday. He went 1 for 1 with two walks, one stolen base and one run scored.

He is rehabbing a hamstring injury that has delayed his season debut so the successful stolen base is very encouraging news. The maximum amount of days for a rehab assignment is 21 days and the Marlins plan on using each and every one.

The plan is for Furcal to spend this week with the Jupiter Hammerheads schooling Cole Frenzel and the Port St. Lucie Mets and then spend next week in Double-A Jacksonville before being reevaluated. If everything goes right, the 36-year-old infielder will finally get to join the Marlins in May 6 at the earliest.

Right now Redmond is platooning Jeff Baker and Derek Dietrich. Baker would be going back to his utility role, but what would happen to Dietrich?

While Dietrich is the Marlins second baseman of the future, he doesn’t have poor hitting statistics that would easily justify being sent down to Triple-A. In fact, the 24-year-old is a .300 hitter and leads the team in on-base percentage (.462) and slugging percentage (.650).

However that is from hitting against right-handed pitchers. He is 0 for 3 in his rare plate appearances against southpaws but has a .353/.522/.765 clip against righties. Mike Redmond isn’t going to likely keep this up and platoon him with Furcal, even though Furcal is a switch hitter and could make it work.

But the Marlins didn't sign Furcal to a $3.5 million to just platoon at a position that he hasn't played at all in his career -- granted shortstop and second base is quite similar. Dietrich would have to hit his way out of consideration and get the Marlins brass to think about someone else to send down, like Donovan Solano.

Solano has been playing the role of utility infielder recently and has only appeared in six games so far and has only one hit in seven plate appearances. Should his lack of playing time and hitting continue, the 26-year-old native of Colombia is likely going to have to get his at-bats in Triple-A New Orleans.

Same goes for Greg Dobbs who is also part of the infield bench and playing the role of pinch hitter, and there is nothing in baseball more useless than a reserve first baseman. Just ask Eric Hinske about how his ten-year playing career (similar to Dobbs) ended in Arizona.

However studies have shown that ten percent of the time, these two guys reach base all the time. It’ll be interesting to see how far the veteran leader card takes Dobbs considering he’s not the only veteran leader in the Marlins clubhouse now.

We're less than a month for finding out a lot about Dietrich and where he stands with the club when Furcal arrives to the active roster. One thing is for sure, if Redmond truly believes in Dietrich, he'll let him face lefties.

Christian Yelich avoids life threatening collision

Relax, it wasn't that life threatening. But when people compare a football tackle to a car crash, what happens when one crashes into Giancarlo Stanton?

"Obviously, that's never fun," said Christian Yelich who almost answered that question for all of us. "You never want to run into that guy. It's not going to end well for me. It will probably always end well for him."

The two Marlins outfielders found themselves both calling for the same pop fly on Monday night's loss to the Washington Nationals. Yelich got the start at center field because Marcel Ozuna was given the night off. Yelich is listed at a lanky 6-4, 200 pounds while the adonis like Stanton is listed at 6-6, 260 pounds.

"You can definitely tell he is coming," Yelich said of Stanton. "It al,last sounds like a horse. I think I got lucky."

Indeed he did get lucky. Yelich veered out of the way just in time for Stanton to make the reaching catch to rob Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth of extra bases. But if he didn't get out of the way: "We probably would have been wearing a 'CY' patch tonight," Yelich said.

Jacob Turner resumed throwing

Marlins starting pitcher Jacob Turner resumed throwing for the first time since being put on the 15-day disabled list on April 9 in Washington. He was scratched from his second start of the season because of a strained shoulder that was caused by an aggressive swing during batting practice.

"It was kind of a freak swing," Turner said. "I took a swing. I just felt something. It's in the back of the shoulder."

Turner was put on the DL for procession purposes and after a week of rest and inactivity, he feels fine.

"It's decently gotten better over the last couple days," Turner said. "I've been able to do everything pain free for the last three days."

Turner threw from 60 feet with no discomfort on Tuesday and could be throwing off the mound over the weekend. He would need to make one rehab assignment start before reentering the Marlins rotation.