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Kotchman runs into machine, requires stitches


JUPITER, Fla. -- All-out hustle caused the first minor injury of Marlins' Spring Training.

Casey Kotchman sliced his left ring finger Monday morning on the machine that flung pop flies to infielders. The injury required four stitches, and it is too early to determine how long he will be out. Manager Mike Redmond is hopeful Kotchman will be able to return in a few days.

Kotchman, who turns 30 on Friday, is in camp on a Minor League contract.

It was a freakish injury, because the veteran first baseman gashed his hand on the machine, which was located around home plate. He sprinted in from his first-base position and made a terrific catch, but collided with the machine in the process.

"I've seen some crazy stuff," Redmond said. "I've seen guys come up with stiff necks getting out of chairs, things like that. It was crazy. I heard him call it and I was like, 'Man, no way he was getting to that ball.' He caught it. He made a great play. He just stopped. It's unfortunate. We're hoping that it's not an extensive thing."

Time is definitely on Kotchman's side to recover and get enough work to put himself in position to make the team. Spring Training is longer this year due to the World Baseball Classic.

First base is a position of concern for Miami because of Logan Morrison's uncertain status.

Dr. Richard Steadman performed surgery on Morrison's right knee in September in Vail, Colo., where Morrison will be evaluated Tuesday in hopes of being cleared to begin running.

It is questionable if Morrison will be ready for Opening Day on April 1 at Washington.

Joe Mahoney, a left-handed hitter with power potential, is also in the mix at first base.

The only other Marlin to not see action Monday was Placido Polanco, who was excused because he had a root canal procedure.

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