MIAMI -- Before his latest setback, Rafael Furcal was so close to returning. Now, he remains optimistic he still isn't that far away.
The 36-year-old second baseman is dealing with a right groin strain, which he suffered last Friday night while participating in a rehab assignment game for Double-A Jacksonville.
Running from first to third base on a hit, his right groin tightened. He remained in the game, and scored a run, but was replaced after the inning.
Prior to the groin injury, Furcal was hopeful to join the Marlins around May 6, when the Mets visit Marlins Park.
Now, the best-case scenario is he will return to a rehab assignment, most likely at Triple-A New Orleans, either Thursday or Friday.
"I'm feeling good," Furcal said. "Just a little tight in my groin. But in a couple of days, I'll go back there and play again."
Furcal opened the season on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain. He says that isn't an issue right now.
"My hammy is good," he said. "Everything is feeling fine."
The Marlins signed Furcal as a free agent to play second base, but the 36-year-old has dealt with the hamstring issue since mid-March.
Furcal is in Miami this week, getting treatment with the team. On Tuesday he went through infield drills and took batting practice.
"I want to make sure everything is fine," he said.
Turner to come off DL, rejoin rotation Saturday
MIAMI -- The beard has been shaved off, and a clean-shaven Jacob Turner is ready to get back into the rotation.
The Marlins also are eager for the 22-year-old right-hander to return, and he will do so on Saturday night.
Miami manager Mike Redmond on Tuesday announced that Turner is set to be reinstated from the disabled list, and start in the second game of the three-game series this weekend against the Dodgers at Marlins Park.
The rotation for Los Angeles shapes up with Tom Koehler going on Friday night, Turner on Saturday and Jose Fernandez on Sunday.
"[Turner] said he shaved off his DL beard, and he was ready to go," Redmond said.
Entering the season, Turner was Miami's No. 4 starter, but he has been on the disabled list since April 9, retroactive to April 4, with a right shoulder sprain.
It was a fluke injury.
On April 7, the day before he was set to pitch at Washington, he took batting practice in the cages with the pitchers. During one round, he felt discomfort in the back of his throwing shoulder after taking a swing.
When Turner went on the disabled list, Brad Hand and Kevin Slowey each made two starts to fill the rotation spot.
"The rotation, overall, has been throwing well," Redmond said. "I think we scrambled there initially when we had some spot starts, and trying to find guys to fill that role while Jacob was gone.
"I think overall guys have stepped up, and hopefully, settled in. That's the biggest part, not only our starters but our bullpen. I saw glimpses of that over the weekend."
Turner made two rehab assignment starts at Class A Jupiter. On Monday night, he was dominant in seven innings, allowing one run while striking out seven.
"I felt good," Turner said. "The ball was coming out fine. Most importantly, I was able to get up and down seven times. That's probably the most important thing I was able to take away from it.
"I feel like I'm ready to compete."
The Marlins have a young, but gifted rotation. Turner won't turn 23 until May 21. The ace of the staff is Fernandez, who is 21.
"Our starters are going to be the key to our success," Redmond said. "Going out there, eating up innings, giving us a chance to win ballgames. At the same time, too, they're young. It's a young rotation, no doubt. There are going to be some ups and downs with those guys, but in the process, this experience is invaluable to them."
Mr. Marlin receives mobile enshrinement
MIAMI -- One of the most popular all-time Marlins is now recognized on a two-tiered tour bus roaming the streets of South Florida.
Jeff Conine, widely known as Mr. Marlin, on Tuesday was named the first inductee in the Miami Ride of Fame.
The Ride of Fame program began in New York City and the expanded fleet of red buses with an upper deck is sweeping across the country. The Conine bus was at Marlins Park on the West Plaza on Tuesday.
Conine took part in a ribbon-cutting celebration.
The Ride of Fame is an on-going series of mobile monuments dedicated to public figures respected for their lifetime achievements.
"To be the first one was quite an honor," Conine said.
On the front of the two-tiered tour bus is an image of Conine during his playing days, and it notes the date he was named to the Ride of Fame.