MIAMI — Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson will get more opinions on his left shoulder as he and the club decide what route to take, said manager Don Mattingly.
Anderson, who was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left shoulder subluxation — the same injury that landed him on the 60-day IL earlier this season — underwent an MRI on Friday prior to the Marlins’ series-opening 10-3 win over the Phillies.
“Just talked to him earlier, and he feels a little better today than yesterday,” Mattingly said on Saturday. “I think the expectation was when this happens multiple times, I guess kind of like a sprained ankle — you do it once, it’s really bad the first time, the second time it’s not quite as bad. But the first one took over two months. So, what that means, we don’t know. Obviously, we’re going to be careful with him, making sure if he does play this year, that he’s going to be healthy and be safe to be able to go out there on the field.”
The 28-year-old aggravated his shoulder diving for Dominic Smith’s single in the ninth of inning of Tuesday’s 6-5 loss to the Mets, the resumption of a suspended game from April 11. He did not play in Miami’s next two contests before landing on the IL.
This marks the third time in 2021 that Anderson has been sidelined. He was out from April 22-May 4 with a left oblique strain, then May 25-July 24 with a left shoulder subluxation. Prior to this season, Anderson had not dealt with shoulder injuries. His 2019 was cut short after he fractured his left fifth metacarpal on a hit-by-pitch. Anderson was one of two Marlins position players, along with Jesús Aguilar, to remain healthy for the entire ’20 slate.
After taking over as general manager last November, Kim Ng was asked whether Anderson could be an extension candidate. He was arbitration eligible for the first time, agreeing to a deal worth $3.8 million in January. Ng noted she wanted to see him play in person before the organization made a decision.
Injuries have made it a disjointed campaign for Anderson. In 67 games, he has slashed .249/.337/.378 with a .715 OPS — all career lows save for a brief 25-game stint in 2017. That hasn’t affected his play at third base, as the 2020 NL Gold Glove Award finalist has three defensive runs saved.
“It is hard,” Ng told a group of reporters on Thursday at Citi Field. “The good thing is that he came back, and I was able to see him in a little bit better window. And so I sort of have an idea of what the high side is, and then where some of his lower points are, but it was great for me to be able to see that range.”
In Anderson’s absence, options at third base include Joe Panik, Isan Díaz and Deven Marrero. Panik started Friday’s win over the Phillies. Díaz, hitless in his last 21 at-bats, got the nod on Saturday. Marrero, who can play every infield position, had his contract selected from Triple-A Jacksonville for the fifth time on Friday.
“I’d say Isan probably gets the lion’s share of this, just because [he’s] another one of the guys that you want the organization to get the biggest picture as they can to make decisions going into the winter,” Mattingly said.