Chris Marrero could return to Syracuse lineup in one week (updated)

Good news this week for Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs first baseman Chris Marrero, who has been slowed the last month as he recovers from an offseason torn hamstring.

Manager Tony Beasley said Marrero has made big progress the last few weeks.

"He has been running the bases," Beasley said. "He will run them again (today). He has been taking batting practice. He is feeling pretty good right now. We anticipate him back in probably (five) days or so. He will probably go and get some A-Bs somewhere."

Beasley believes Marrero could go on a rehab assignment today or tomorrow and be back in the Syracuse lineup as early as August 14 or 15.

Marrero last played July 12 and was riding a four-game hit streak, but he wasn't feeling 100 percent in his hamstring.

"He was feeling a little soreness and shut him down and took it slow with him," Beasley said. "He is ahead of schedule on an injury like that, anyhow."

Beasley said Marrero is on schedule to return soon and that he has been upbeat about his rehab. He has hit .283 combined in 33 games in the minors this season, with eight doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs.

"He is feeling good right now," Beasley said. "He is going through all his drill work, exercise and whatever he has to do on a daily basis, he is doing so without pain. So, we hope and pray he can stay healthy in the course of the next week or so (and) he can get back into games."

Marrero burst onto the scene last year when he was called up in September to the Nationals, hitting .248 with five doubles and 10 RBIs in 31 games. He then tore his hamstring early in the offseason at winter ball and has been recovering since.

Marrero was a top candidate to make the team as a utility bat after the way he played in September, 2011, and the Nationals hope he can get healthy so he can continue that drive back to D.C.

Updated: Marrero did start his rehab with short-season Single-A Auburn and went 1-for-2 before being replaced. Similar to other rehab assignments, the Nationals will slowly work up Marrero's innings as the week goes along. Marrero will be with Auburn until August 13.

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