MIL@MIA: Morrison clubs first extra-base hit of year

MIAMI -- Logan Morrison was scratched from the Marlins' lineup for Friday night's game against the Cardinals with back tightness.

Morrison experienced discomfort while taking batting practice, prompting Miami manager Mike Redmond to sit the first baseman.

"Today's the first I've heard of it," Redmond said Friday. "He tried to take a few swings, and it just was tight."

The Marlins are uncertain when Morrison will be able to return to the lineup.

"Usually, back things are more than just a day," Redmond said. "I would assume he'd be out for a couple of days. We'll see. Hopefully not."

Redmond benched Morrison for Wednesday's series finale against the Brewers in order to give the 25-year-old an extra day of rest in addition to Thursday's off-day.

Following Tuesday night's 5-4 win against Milwaukee, Morrison had played five straight days -- two contests with Double-A Jacksonville and three with Miami.

Rookie center fielder Marcell Ozuna moved up from fifth to fourth in the order to account for Morrison's absence. Greg Dobbs replaced Morrison at first and was inserted into No. 7 hole, bumping shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria up to sixth.

Morrison, who underwent right knee surgery in September, is batting .444 (4-for-9) with six total bases, two runs scored and a .545 on-base percentage since he was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list on Sunday.

Eovaldi to make season debut on Tuesday

Outlook: Eovaldi needs to improve W-L ratio in 2013

MIAMI -- Heading into the season, Nathan Eovaldi was lined up to be the Marlins' No. 2 starting pitcher. Instead, he started off on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation.

Finally, after 2 1/2 months of recovery, the 23-year-old is set to join Miami's rotation. His first start will be on Tuesday at Arizona, in the slot that Kevin Slowey was initially lined up to fill.

"Eovaldi's back," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's going to start on Tuesday."

The arrival of the hard-throwing right-hander doesn't automatically mean Slowey will be completely leaving the rotation.

"Right now, the plan is for [Eovaldi] to start on Tuesday in Arizona, and we'll mix and match with the rotation and try to figure out where we are," Redmond said.

Eovaldi is expected to be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list either after Monday's game at Arizona or prior to Tuesday's game. The right-hander was with the Marlins on Friday at Marlins Park.

On Thursday night, Eovaldi concluded his rehab assignment, throwing six strong innings for Double-A Jacksonville. Eovaldi threw 77 pitches four days after he tossed just one inning and 21 pitches in a game that was rained out.

The Marlins were extremely careful with Eovaldi in his recovery.

"We were really taking it slow, making sure everything felt good," Eovaldi said. "I think that's why I made so many rehab starts on my return, to make sure everything was fine."

An MRI exam was taken at the end of March, and it revealed inflammation. Most importantly, there was no structural damage. Since Eovaldi's been throwing, he's not dealt with any discomfort.

"After each bullpen and each game, I haven't had any soreness or any type of fatigue," he said. "I've been feeling great."

The Marlins acquired Eovaldi from the Dodgers last July as part of the Hanley Ramirez trade. He brings a power arm to the rotation.

"Things have been going well," Redmond said. "He's been throwing hard. More importantly, it's just how he feels, his strength and building his arm strength back up.

"He had a great spring and then went down with the shoulder, and it's been a long time. He's been out for a long time, and it's nice to have him back. I know it's been a long road for him, and I know he's excited to be back and part of the team. It gets lonely down there when you're grinding it out in rehab day after day after day. It's not fun."

Worth noting

• Ed Lucas continues to get starts in the infield. He was in the lineup at third base on Friday night. Placido Polanco has been out since Monday with back stiffness. Polanco is getting closer to being ready to return.

• Fox Sports Florida play-by-play announcer Rich Waltz is away from the Marlins' telecasts on Friday and Saturday. Waltz is in Seattle doing the Fox Sports regional game between the A's and Mariners. Handling the Marlins' telecast for the two days are Tommy Hutton, Jeff Conine and Preston Wilson.