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Polanco out due to mild back tightness

JUPITER, Fla. -- Until the cold weather reached South Florida the past few days, Placido Polanco was one of the Marlins' hottest hitters.

The 37-year-old, signed as a free agent to secure third base, is batting .400 (4-for-10) this spring. But chilly conditions swept through the area this weekend, and Polanco experienced mild back tightness.

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Rather than take any chances, the Marlins are giving Polanco a couple of days to rest.

"Just a back spasm," the veteran infielder said. "It's not bad. I'm feeling good right now."

With the Marlins off on Monday, Polanco is hopeful that the two days off will be enough for him to be back on Tuesday night to face Team Venezuela at Roger Dean Stadium. He conceded the chilly conditions could have been a factor.

"Maybe," he said. "I felt it right after practice yesterday."

On Saturday, the Marlins faced the Mets in Port St. Lucie. Polanco didn't make the trip, as instead he stayed back to work out in Jupiter.

Health is an issue with Polanco, who spent time on the disabled list last year with lower back inflammation. He was limited to 90 games with the Phillies in 2012.

"It has nothing to do with what I've had before," Polanco said.

"We're definitely going to have to monitor him," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He and I have talked several times about letting me know how he's feeling, and how his body is. I feel like we are on the same page. We have a good program for him."

Chris Valaika started at third base on Sunday against the Mets.

Also on Sunday, the Marlins assigned left-handed pitching prospect Andrew Heaney to rehab due to a lat strain. Heaney, Miami's first-round pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, did not pitch in any spring games. He is expected start the season at Class A Jupiter.

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