JUPITER -- Derek Dietrich had a surprise waiting for him at his locker when he showed up for work Saturday. Someone decided to poke fun at the second baseman with the broken nose by placing a catcher's mask on his stool.
Dietrich won't be wearing any such device when he begins taking ground balls again, perhaps within a day or two. But he will be wearing a protective face mask similar to the one worn by LeBron James after the Miami Heat star had his nose broken.
"It's going to be clear, but maybe not as extreme, because he's playing in the paint and taking it to the rim, and I'm pretty much contract-free unless the ball takes a bad hop again," Dietrich said. "That's all we're trying to protect."
Call it a coincidence but Dietrich, like James, hails from Cleveland. In fact, Dietrich played both baseball and basketball at St. Ignatius High School, which frequently plays James' alma mater, St. Vincent/St. Mary's. Dietrich, though, was a shooting guard in his prep days and nowhere near the star that James was.
Dietrich said the same person who made James' mask is making his, as well.
Could there be a poster on the horizon featuring the two Miami professional athletes with broken noses?
"I've been telling (Marlins media relations director) Matt Roebuck that we need to get something (going) on that," Dietrich said. "Miami Marlins. Miami Heat. Cleveland guys. Both had to wear masks recently...."
Dietrich was to receive the mask sometime later on the day Saturday and begin wearing it during infield practice, perhaps as early as Sunday. He said his nose felt significantly better on Saturday than it did on Thursday when a sharp ground ball took a wicked hop and struck him in the face.
Jake Marisnick is having the best spring of any Marlin. But that might not be enough to earn him an Opening Day roster spot, as the Marlins are continuing to evaluate their outfield options.
Marisnick had three hits Friday against the Astros to raise his average to .429. He's also stolen four bases, which equals Adeiny Hechavarria for the team lead.
"I think the spring training (numbers) is a tough one," Redmond said of spring training statistics in general, "because it does factor in. And some guys you go by (past) track record."
As Marcell Ozuna (.171) continues to struggle, the outfield battle is one of the most intriguing ones heading into the final week of spring training. Giancarlo Stanton has right field locked up, and Christian Yelich is beginning to see regualr time in center, which was to have been the position belonging to Ozuna. It suggests strongly that the Marlins are leaning toward Yelich as their Opening Day center fielder, which is Marisnick's natural position.
Marisnick did not hit well with the Marlins after being called up last season, and the feeling could be that he might benefit from additional at bats in the minors. The Marlins would prefer Marisnick play every day as opposed to a part-time role, which is yet another reason why he could start out in the minors, perhaps with Ozuna as his teammate. The Marlins could opt to platoon in left with Reed Johnson, Brian Bogusevic and Jeff Baker seeing time there.
But that all remains to be seen, as final roster decisions will be made over the coming days.
"He's in the middle of these tough decisions," Redmond said of Marisnick. "He's definitely made a case for himself, and that's one of those where we have to decide, does he need more at bats in the minor leagues? Or is he ready to play in the big leagues? He needs to play everyday."
-- Rafael Furcal was to take part in base running deals on Saturday and could play in a minor-league game as early as Monday depending on how his injured hamstring reacts.
-- Ed Lucas (hamstring) homered Friday in a minor league game while being used as a designated hitter. Following a day off Saturday, he'll make the trip to Lakeland on Sunday and play first against the Tigers.
-- Greg Dobbs (quad) is scheduled to play in a minor league game Saturday.