Placido Polanco was scheduled to return to action for the Miami Marlins on March 6 after being sidelined a few days because of a tight back.
Placido's return would be a huge relief for the Marlins. They signed him to a one-year, $2.75 million contract in December even though he played in just 17 games after the All Star break last year for the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Obviously, he's a guy who has been banged up a little bit in the past. We want to make sure we take care of him," manager Mike Redmond said March 3.
"We need him to be healthy for us during the course of the season. If we have to hold him back a little bit in spring training to make sure we get him when it counts, during the season, that's what's going to be most important."
Polanco said the stiffness he felt after practice on March 2 was not the same discomfort that bothered him the past three years.
"It's not bad," Polanco said. "If it was the season today I could play today."
Polanco won three Gold Gloves, at second base in 2007 and 2009 and at third base in 2011. But he time on the field has diminished -- from 153 games in 2009 to 132 games in 2010, 122 in 2011 and 90 last year.
"We're definitely going to have to monitor him," Redmond said. "He and I have talked several times about letting game know how he is feeling. I feel like we are on the same page and have a good program for him."