- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

MIAMI (AP) - Florida Marlins reliever Matt Lindstrom has a strained right rotator cuff that will sideline him at least a week, and he’ll miss the rest of the World Baseball Classic.

Lindstrom underwent an MRI exam Monday and was told not to throw for seven to 10 days, the Marlins said. The organization is uncertain whether he’ll be ready by opening day.

“We had every expectation he is going to be our closer, so that’s a big deal to be in this position now,” Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said at the team’s spring training complex in Jupiter. “We’re hopeful we will start the season with our closer, but we are not sure. So that’s tough.”

Lindstrom retired two of his five batters in a WBC game Sunday against the Netherlands before leaving with stiffness in his shoulder. It’s the latest setback for the injury-plagued U.S. team, which in the past three days has also lost infielders Chipper Jones and Dustin Pedroia for the rest of the WBC.

It’s also a setback for the Marlins. Lindstrom was promoted to the closer’s role last September, and the team acquired for setup duty right-hander Scott Proctor, who has been slowed in spring training by discomfort in his elbow after undergoing offseason surgery.

If both Lindstrom and Proctor are unavailable, the closer’s job becomes wide open.

“It’s not where we were hoping we’d be as we turn the corner heading into the start of the season,” Beinfest said.

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