Omar Infante’s diving attempt at a ground ball with the bases loaded yesterday was unsuccessful and left the Marlins second baseman with a fractured right middle finger.
Infante initially remained in the game, but was eventually replaced by Wes Helms and is bound for the disabled list. However, manager Jack McKeon is hopeful that Infante “can come back in a short period of time.”
Infante’s double-play partner, Hanley Ramirez, is already day-to-day with a shoulder injury, so the Marlins are suddenly very thin in the middle infield. Emilio Bonifacio started at shortstop yesterday and Helms, who’d never played an inning at second base before this week, spent half the game there after replacing Infante.
Prior to the injury Infante was having a sub par season, hitting just .274 with three homers and a .674 OPS after three straight years with a mark above .750. The man he replaced at second base, Dan Uggla, has a .709 OPS for the Braves despite hitting below .200 until his recent hot streak.
The Marlins designated utilityman Derek Dietrich for assignment, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. This comes amid a flurry of moves on Tuesday night as teams prepare their rosters ahead of the Rule 5 draft next month.
Dietrich, 29, is coming off another strong season in which he hit .265/.330/.421 with 16 home runs, 45 RBI, and 72 runs scored in 551 plate appearances. He played all over the diamond, spending most of his time in left field and at first base. Dietrich also played some second base, third base, and right field.
Dietrich is entering his third of four years of arbitration eligibility. He earned $2.9 million this past season and MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn $4.8 million in 2019. Cutting Dietrich represents a bit more than 4 million in savings for the rebuilding and perennially small-market Marlins. Dietrich should draw some interest, so the Marlins could end up trading him rather soon.
Wonder how J.T. Realmuto, now the longest-tenured Marlin, is feeling right about now.