Marlins left fielder Josh Willingham was placed on the 15 day disabled list on Friday afternoon, with Brett Carroll recalled from Triple A Albuquerque.
Willingham hasn’t played since Sunday in Milwaukee because of a sore lower back. Willingham has been placed on the DL retroactive to Monday, so if his back feels better, he could return May 13 in Cincinnati.
“It’s one of those things,’’ manager Fredi Gonzalez said prior to Friday’s game at Dolphin Stadium against San Diego. “We couldn’t play short so it was a decision we had to make. If everything goes well, he only misses 10 games.’’
Willingham had been tearing it up for the Marlins, leading the team with a .341 batting average. Willingham’s six homers and 16 RBI both rank third on the team.
Luis Gonzalez once again filled in for Willingham in left field on Friday, although Fredi Gonzalez said Carroll was going to see some playing time in the coming days.
Carroll spent four days with the Marlins from April 1-5, going 1 for 8 with a triple. With the Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League, Carroll has been exceptional, hitting .418 in 18 games with nine home runs and 23 RBI.
Carroll was traveling to South Florida after getting the call and was expected to be at Dolphin Stadium in time for Friday’s game.
(*) With Willingham out, Fredi Gonzalez is going to try some new things, moving shortstop Hanley Ramirez to third in the order. Ramirez has been leading off. Gonzalez says the Marlins are going to try different players out in the leadoff slot, adding Cody Ross may get some more playing time and hit in that position.
“The timing is right to move Ramirez into the three hole,’’ Gonzalez said. “Having [Mike] Jacobs back gives him a little protection there.’’
Second baseman Dan Uggla is also moving, going from second in the lineup to sixth. “He can just go out there and swing the bat,’’ Gonzalez said.