Miami won its first contest in six games on Wednesday night against the Phillies. But the club may be without its starting left fielder for an extended period of time.
Christian Yelich has been out of the lineup with back pain, and according to MLB.com's Michael Radano, the Marlins are unsure of what to do with regard to Yelich's roster spot. Heading into Wednesday's contest, he was listed as day-by-day, although it may benefit the Marlins to place Yelich on the 15-day disabled list.
The Marlins' offense has been limited early, and Yelich was in the midst of a slump before sitting out. Miami's gold glove winning left fielder is batting just .200 at this point in the season. However, Yelich is the club's number two hitter, and provides depth and a left-handed presence in front of Giancarlo Stanton. Both Yelich and Michael Morse have opened the year with quiet bats, but Yelich's injury may be a potential reason for the slow start.
Yelich spent a notable amount of time on the disabled list with a comparable injury last season, and as a result, his status may prove to be alarming moving forward. Manager Mike Redmond was unsure of when exactly Yelich will return, Radano adds, but the Marlins could make a move over the next few days.
Miami has already been forced to utilize some of its minor league depth, promoting J.T. Realmuto and Reid Brignac while slotting David Phelps into the rotation. Jose Urena was also recalled for a handful of games. MLB.com's Joe Frisaro believes Jordany Valdespin could be called upon if the Marlins opt to place Yelich on the DL.
Valdespin saw time with the Marlins last season, and would prove to be a versatile addition to the roster. Ichiro Suzuki could also play left field, but Redmond appears content using him late in games in situations that could prove to be more valuable. The Marlins ultimately will rely on Yelich once he is healthy, and the club is hoping that is sooner rather than later.