3/21/2014 5:35 P.M. ET
Lucas set to play Sunday; Furcal, Dietrich on the mend
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Marlins have three infielders resting with minor injuries. At least one is close to returning to Grapefruit League action.
Ed Lucas, who strained his left hamstring on March 13 at Lakeland against the Tigers, could return on Sunday, when the Marlins will again visit the Tigers.
"I have him playing Sunday in Lakeland at first base," manager Mike Redmond said.
Lucas spent Thursday and Friday as the designated hitter in Minor League games, and he'll get a day off on Saturday.
Rafael Furcal (left hamstring) has been participating in limited baseball activities, and the team wants him to advance his running before he gets into game action.
"Furcal is still about the same," Redmond said. "He says he was feeling better, but we've got to see this guy run.
"We are going to get him out running a couple of days in a row to test that hamstring and make sure it is good to go before we get him out there in a game."
Derek Dietrich (fractured nose) is being fitted for a protective mask to wear in the field.
Eovaldi ready, eager for season to get underway
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- As a formality, Nathan Eovaldi will have one more Grapefruit League start, which is set for Wednesday against the Braves at Lake Buena Vista.
But mentally and physically, Eovaldi is pretty much ready for the regular season.
The hard-throwing right-hander showed it on Friday in his 4 1/3-inning, two-run stint against the Astros in the Marlins' 7-2 win at Osceola County Stadium.
"From his last start to this start, the ball was definitely coming out of his hand better, crisper," manager Mike Redmond said. "He looked to me like he's ready."
The Marlins open the season on March 31 against the Rockies at Marlins Park, and Eovaldi projects to be the No. 2 starter behind Jose Fernandez.
In his second-to-last start, Eovaldi allowed two runs on six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. His fastball was lively, ranging between 93-96 mph. He continues to work on his secondary pitches, which will be crucial to complement his fastball.
Overall, the 24-year-old felt he threw the best that he has all spring.
"I felt a lot better this outing than all of my other ones," Eovaldi said. "We fixed a few things, mechanically. My curveball felt good today. I was able to locate the fastball away, for the most part. I felt good."
With the season around the corner, Eovaldi noted that it's hard to stay focused.
"It's like you're ready for the season," he said. "You're ready for it to get here. How many more days before it gets here?"
There is some added eagerness because Eovaldi has never been on an Opening Day roster. In 2012, when he was with the Dodgers, he was sent down on the last day of Spring Training. That year, Los Angeles brought in veterans Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.
Last year, Eovaldi was tabbed as the Marlins' No. 2 starter. But the day before the season got underway, he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.
Friday started off promising for the Marlins. Before Eovaldi threw a pitch, he was working with a two-run lead, courtesy of Garrett Jones' home run.
Eovaldi started off strong, striking out Dexter Fowler and Robbie Grossman. Eovaldi was lifted with one out and the bases full in the fifth inning after throwing 85 pitches.
In relief, Carter Capps ended the threat with a pair of flyouts to short left field.
"I've been feeling good all spring," Eovaldi said. "No issues. I'm just ready to get going."
Injuries in rearview, Silverio's sights set on Majors
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Two years ago, Alfredo Silverio survived a terrible auto accident that left him with back, shoulder, elbow and neck injuries. His right elbow required Tommy John surgery.
Silverio reinjured his throwing arm while attempting a comeback in 2013, and he had a second major elbow surgery last June. After missing two full seasons and overcoming his share of adversity, he has set a high goal for 2014: reach the big leagues.
"I'm going to do it this year," the hard-luck outfielder said. "That's my goal."
Considering what Silverio has already overcome, it is hard to count him out.
But the Marlins aren't jumping to conclusions. They simply want Silverio to get back into the flow of playing again. If he can stay healthy, then who knows where his path may lead.
It will start at Double-A Jacksonville, but Silverio has a chance to move up to Triple-A quickly. Although he is not in big league camp, the Marlins brought him along to Kissimmee on Friday as an extra outfielder to face the Astros. Silverio replaced left fielder Jake Marisnick in the bottom of the sixth inning, and then he struck out to lead off the seventh and end the ninth in the Marlins' 7-2 win.
Silverio could be an outfield option for Miami later in the season.
"I think we all feel fortunate that we were able to keep him in the system and get him another year of being healthy and see what he could do," manager Mike Redmond said. "I think a lot of people are curious to see what he does in the Minor Leagues, and if this guy becomes an option down the road for us."
A few years ago, Silverio was a touted prospect with the Dodgers. At Double-A Chattanooga in 2011, he had an outstanding year, collecting 76 extra-base hits. Silverio batted .306 with 42 doubles, 18 triples, 16 home runs and 85 RBIs.
But in late January 2012 in the Dominican Republic, Silverio was involved in the car wreck that set back his big league dreams. The Dodgers left him off their 40-man roster, and the Marlins claimed him in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft.
Silverio showed promise while recovering from his elbow injury, but he had a setback late in Spring Training in 2013, and a second surgery was required.
Because of the second Tommy John surgery, the Marlins outrighted Silverio and offered him back to the Dodgers. Miami was pleasantly surprised when Los Angeles declined to take him, which cleared the way for the outfielder's return.
In Minor League camp, Silverio already has four doubles and a home run.
"I'm feeling good," Silverio said. "I've been hitting really good."