MIAMI (AP) -Alejandro De Aza's uncanny run of bad luck from a year ago has carried over into the start of 2008.
The Florida Marlins placed the outfielder on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a high left ankle sprain, an injury that could keep him out four to six weeks. He suffered the injury in the ninth inning of Saturday night's exhibition-season finale against the New York Yankees, when he collided with John Raynor while trying to run down a flyball and needed to be carted off the field.
Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez wasn't second-guessing himself for having De Aza in the final inning of a meaningless game.
``It's one of those things,'' Gonzalez said. ``You hate for stuff like that to happen, but he needed to play, he needed some at-bats and we didn't have any more options.''
De Aza - who batted .361 in Grapefruit League play - would have been part of a platoon in center field, and he was the Marlins' opening-day starter at that position a year ago.
But instead, the Marlins were forced to recall infielder Robert Andino and reassign Alexis Gomez to minor league camp Sunday before finalizing their 25-man roster for Monday's opener against the New York Mets.
``Hopefully he can come back soon,'' Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez said of De Aza.
That's what Florida kept wishing with regard to De Aza last year, too.
De Aza suffered a right ankle injury in the opening days of the 2007 season and eventually was diagnosed with a stress fracture. In all, he only played 45 games with Florida a year ago.
Now, there's the inevitable sense of here-we-go-again.
``You're always on pins and needles,'' Gonzalez said. ``Very unfortunate that that stuff happens.''
Cody Ross will be the starter in center field Monday. Alfredo Amezaga will start there Tuesday, and Ross likely will be back in the lineup Wednesday, Gonzalez said.
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