Marlins catcher Brett Hayes emerged from the clubhouse Wednesday with his left arm in a sling and the news that he could be done for the season after taking a vicious hit from Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan in a collision at the plate Tuesday night.
Hayes said no muscles are torn, but that doctors have diagnosed him with a grade one shoulder separation. He could miss anywhere from two to four weeks depending on when his displaced shoulder "sets in."
"If I don't get back this year, I'll definitely be back for spring training," Hayes said.
Is it the worst hit he's ever taken?
"No, actually, it's not," Hayes said. "It was awkward. I jumped, barely got my feet under me, then I got hit. It looked worse because he squared me up directly in the shoulder. I took a hit in low-A where I took a forearm to the face and I was bleeding everywhere. That wasn't fun. This one, no one likes to get hit when they're standing still. It wasn't the hardest I've been hit, but it definitely hurt the worst."
Hayes said he hasn't received an apology from Morgan, but he isn't necessarily expecting one either.
"Obviously we all saw what he did last week. Put that aside, it was a pretty clean hit in my opinion," Hayes said. "Do I feel if he would have slid, he would have been safe? Absolutely. Do I think he decided to run me over when he rounded third? Absolutely. In terms of the hit, I thought it was a clean hit. I got the ball late. Nothing wrong with the hit. I just hope the intentions were good."
NOLASCO WORRIED ABOUT KNEE: When Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez first met with reporters Wednesday he was 100 percent sure Ricky Nolasco would make his next scheduled start Friday. About 15 minutes later, though, Rodriguez wasn't so sure anymore.
"He's concerned about his knee," Rodriguez said. "Even [trainer] Sean Cunningham doesn't know. We'll wait and see and make a decision."
Nolasco suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee while Aug. 19 in Pittsburgh. He missed a start on Aug. 22, but pitched for the Marlins last Saturday in Atlanta. When approached by reporters in the clubhouse before Wednesday's game, Nolasco said he would wait until after the game to address the issue.
Apparently, Nolasco’s right knee has been bothered him since his last start on Saturday, when he was shelled for six runs in two innings. If Nolasco is too sore to pitch Friday, it's likely the Marlins will shut him down for the year so he can have surgery and have more time to recover before spring training.
Nolasco is 14-9 with a 4.51 ERA, including 9-3 stretch over his last 12 starts. The team has indicated it will offer Nolasco a multi-year deal after the season.
If Nolasco is done, expect Andrew Miller to fill his spot in the rotation at least once if not twice. Left-hander Sean West has been trying to come back from right knee inflammation but said he suffered a setback during pitcher fielding practice on Tuesday.
"I had to shut it out down a little early during PFPs," West said Wednesday. "I felt something and they definitely didn't want me to push it and try to get through it. The best bet was to shut it down. I had another bullpen today. Pitching is fine. Shuffling is great during long toss. I think we're going to try a sim game in a couple days, see some hitters to keep the arm going. I think once I can field my position, I'm good to go."
Miller pitched an inning Monday, but said he's ready to go if needed. "I haven't heard anything, I don't know what the discussion is," Miller said. "All I can to tell you is I'm preparing to be available like I am every night. I'm the long guy in the bullpen and I'm ready to go no matter what they ask me to do."