WASHINGTON -- It's the 75th anniversary of Abbott and Costello's famous "Who's on First?" comedy skit.
But the first base situation for the Marlins is no laughing matter. Manager Mike Redmond said Casey Kotchman, who strained his left hamstring while running out a ground ball on Wednesday, will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The Marlins now have three first basemen on the DL -- Kotchman, Logan Morrison and Joe Mahoney -- and have no other first basemen on their 40-man roster they can bring up to fill in. Greg Dobbs is starting at first for the Marlins in today's game, and Austin Kearns could play there in a pinch. Redmond said Chris Valaika and even backup catcher Miguel Olivo could man the position if necessary, too.
But it's not a good situation for the Marlins at the moment. They signed Kotchman as insurance knowing Morrison wouldn't be ready until May at the earliest. Mahoney is trying to work his way back from an oblique injury and is swinging off a tee. But he's 7-10 days away from getting back on the field.
"We are currently trying to figure out a roster move, what we're going to do," Redmond said. "Right now Dobber is going to play quite a bit of first base."
Redmond said the Marlins might not necessarily replace Kotchman on the 25-man roster with another primary first baseman. It could be another position player. While not ruling out the possibility, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said he is also reluctant to add a non-roster player because it would mean exposing another member of the 40-man to waivers. The Marlins lost reliever Evan Reed on a waiver claim earlier this week when they designated him for assignment in order to create room on the roster for other additions.
"Usually first base, it doesn't seem like it's a tough position to fill," Redmond said. "You think of all the positions, you usually have a ton of first basemen. I don't know if I've ever been around a team that hasn't had multiple first basemen. So it's odd that we're sitting here talking about three injured first baseman already this spring. It's definitely been a challenge."
Kotchman said it's the first time in his career he has suffered a hamstring injury.
"I heard a pop probably two to three strides before the bag, and kept running, and when I got to the bag I went down," Kotchman said.
Redmond said the Marlins would wait until Friday to place Kotchman on the DL, at which time they'll make a corresponding move.