Jazz Chisholm Jr.’s back injury will have him sidelined for the near future.
The Miami Marlins on Wednesday placed the second baseman on the 10-day injured list with a right lower back strain.
Chisholm left Tuesday’s 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the second inning due to the injury, which he has been dealing with for close to a week. He underwent an testing, including an MRI, Wednesday morning.
“It’s a very sensitive spot,” Chisholm said, “so we’re gonna try and figure it out as soon as we can and get it done with and see what’s the plan after the MRI.”
The injury began in earnest on Friday, when he was removed from the Marlins’ series opener against the New York Mets with what the team called back spasms. He was back in the lineup Saturday, sat in Sunday’s series finale with the Mets and Monday’s series opener with the Cardinals, and returned to the lineup Tuesday but was only on the field for about 20 minutes before being removed.
Chisholm felt the back pain Friday and Tuesday the most both Friday and Tuesday on check swings.
“It’s just any kind of movement right now,” Chisholm said. “It’s very uncomfortable.”
How uncomfortable was the pain?
“It’s really up there,” Chisholm said.
Chisholm was hoping he didn’t have to miss playing time, understandable considering his persona.
But now the earliest he’ll be able to get back on the field is July 9, which would mean he will play no more than nine of Miami’s remaining games before the All-Star Break.
“Everybody knows I’m not the one to every come out of games,” Chisholm said, “but [Tuesday], I just had to get out of there.”
Chisholm, who entered the week as the leading vote-getter among National League second basemen for the All-Star Game, has been a spark plug in the Marlins’ lineup this season. He leads the team in slugging (.535), OPS (.860), home runs (14), RBI (45) and runs scored (39). He also has 12 stolen bases.
“Jazz brings a lot to the table with speed and power,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He’s our leading RBI guy. A lot of things that we lose.”
How do the Marlins replace Chisholm’s production?
Chisholm’s injury comes at a time when the Marlins were closing in on getting to full strength with their lineup.
Brian Anderson returned on Monday and Joey Wendle looks like he could be back by the time Miami starts its four-game series against the Washington Nationals on Friday. Luke Williams was added to the active roster on Wednesday as the corresponding move for Chisholm’s IL placement.
With Chisholm sidelined, Jon Berti will likely get the bulk of second base reps while Anderson and Wendle (once he returns) handle third base. Anderson can also play the corner outfield spots and Wendle can make starts at second base as well.
Berti enters Wednesday with a .289 batting average and an MLB-leading 22 stolen bases. He was the Marlins’ primary third baseman in June with both Wendle and Anderson sidelined and thrived — hitting .309 (30 for 97) with six doubles, one triple, 10 RBI, 15 runs scored and 18 stolen bases over 25 games, including a 24-game on-base streak that was snapped Tuesday.