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Ruggiano has another MRI on aching back, awaits results

JUPITER -- Marlins center fielder Justin Ruggiano's stiff lower back was still bothering him Friday morning, a day after he pulled himself out of practice after it tightened up on him fielding a ground ball.

Now he's awaiting results of another MRI taken Thursday and said a spine doctor is coming in to see him.

"It feels the same," said Ruggiano, who was carrying a little case of pain killers with him back to his locker. "It's frustrating."

The Marlins open Grapefruit League action on Saturday versus the Cardinals. Gorkys Hernandez and Bryan Petersen figure to get action in center field with Ruggiano out. The Marlins also have top prospects such as Christian Yelich and Jason Marisnick in camp.

Hernandez led the Venezuelan Winter League with a .367 batting average and 15 steals in 226 at-bats. He batted .212 with three home runs and five stolen bases in 45 games for the Marlins after being traded by Pittsburgh for Gaby Sanchez last season.

Hernandez said he's focused on having a big spring for the Marlins.

"I'm working hard to have a good spring training and now that the games are beginning I have an opportunity to show the team what I can do," Hernandez said. "I came to spring training to win a job."

Hernandez said he worked with a hitting coach in the Indians farm system in Venezuela who helped him focus on working deeper into the count and "waiting for my pitch."