MIA@WSH: Kotchman injures hamstring running to first

PHILADELPHIA -- Over the course of June, the Marlins anticipate getting an influx of injured players back. One of their Opening Day starters returned to the lineup on Monday.

Casey Kotchman, who strained his left hamstring in the second game of the season, was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and started at first base in the series opener at Philadelphia.

"I'm just happy to be able to put the uniform on again and be with the team you broke camp with," said Kotchman, who sustained his injury on April 3 while sprinting to first base. "I'm excited to be back here."

Kotchman made six rehab-assignment starts at Class A Jupiter, and he was 6-for-23 (.261) at the plate.

The Marlins have been hit heavily by injuries at first base. Until Kotchman was brought back, they had three first basemen on the disabled list -- Kotchman, Logan Morrison (right knee) and Joe Mahoney (right hamstring).

The plan is to give Kotchman playing time and to use Greg Dobbs off the bench.

Dobbs, respected as a pinch-hit specialist throughout his career, made 42 starts at first base while Kotchman was out.

Manager Mike Redmond noted that Kotchman is a veteran who knows his limitations.

"I think he's fine," Redmond said. "I think he's probably as close to 100 percent as he can be. He's been around a long time. He knows when to turn it on, and when not to. He can kind of protect himself over there if he is not 100 percent.

"That gives Dobber a little bit of a break. Dobber has had to really grind it out over there at first. He's done a great job. He's played a great first base and given us some great at-bats. He will still go over there and play as well. But I like him coming off the bench."

Stanton begins running bases in Florida

TB@MIA: Broadcasters talk about Stanton's rehab

PHILADELPHIA -- At some point in the near future, the Marlins hope to see Giancarlo Stanton circling the bases after one of his mammoth home runs.

For now, the organization is encouraged that the 23-year-old slugger is able to run around the bases without any discomfort.

On the disabled list since April 30 with a strained right hamstring, Stanton tested his legs on Monday at the Marlins' Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

"Stanton is running the bases in Jupiter, which is good news," manager Mike Redmond said.

For players recovering from hamstring injuries, running the bases is one of the final steps before seeing game action.

However, no firm date has been set for Stanton to appear in rehab-assignment games.

Worth noting

• Third baseman Placido Polanco was scratched from the lineup on Monday because he is battling a cold.

"We've got a couple of guys a little under the weather," Redmond said. "There is a little cold running through that clubhouse. I had him in that lineup, and he came in and wasn't feeling very good. He's a guy we can give another day. He's had to play a lot."

Ed Lucas started at third base on Monday.

• On Tuesday, Nathan Eovaldi will be starting for Double-A Jacksonville in what likely will be his final rehab start before he joins the Marlins. Eovaldi, on the 60-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, is getting the start at Jacksonville after making two starts for Class A Advanced Jupiter. If all goes well, Eovaldi could be joining the Marlins' rotation next week.

• Highly touted prospect Christian Yelich was lifted after three at-bats on Monday with an abdominal muscle strain sustained the day before when he dove for a ball in the outfield. Yelich is a candidate to get a big league promotion in about a week. For now, his status is being monitored daily as the organization will see if he needs a disabled-list stint.