Although first hopeful that a move wouldn't have to be made, the Miami Marlins placed third baseman Placido Polanco on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Monday. Facing San Francisco reliever Santiago Casilla, Polanco took a pitch off of the helmet.
"Sometimes it takes a little bit of time for symptoms to show up and that was the case with him, "manager Mike Redmond said in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel. "We were obviously hoping that wasn't the case, but the next day we realized it was a little more severe and he did have a concussion. The biggest thing is not having to play a man short."
Miami subsequently announced the promotion of Triple-A infielder Gil Velazquez, who has made several major league appearances with the Marlins. Despite the fact that he was batting .275 when signed by the Marlins, a Miami Herald report identifies a different reason Velazquez was selected.
According to the report which quotes unnamed sources, the Marlins as an organization were prepared to promote infielder Chris Valaika, who could play third base and began the year with the squad. He spent time on the disabled list because of a broken wrist.
However, Miami Marlins' owner Jeffrey Loria reportedly vetoed Valaika's call-up from New Orleans because of his previous encounters with former hitting coach Tino Martinez.
Martinez resigned as a result of allegations that he verbally abused and got into heated arguments with several Marlins players. Valaika was noted as one of the athletes who had an altercation with the former Yankee executive.
The report explained that "Martinez later told FoxSports.com that he became angry with Valaika - as well as others - when he refused to pick up baseballs in the batting cage earlier in the season."
Herald sources said Loria likely overruled his staff because of sentiment for Martinez, who he had a close relationship with and who he personally chose to serve as Miami's hitting instructor after the hiring of Redmond.
Though Velazquez has more major league experience, the move frustrated Marlins executives because of Valaika's recent success. He entered Monday's minor league game having hit .371 with a pair of home runs in his previous ten games.
Miami has used both Ed Lucas and Polanco at third base this season, though it is a position the team previously struggled to fill.