A dejected Donovan Solano departed the Marlins' minor league complex in street clothes Thursday morning. Team officials had just informed him he would be opening the season at Triple-A New Orleans. About six hours later, Solano learned his season-opening assignment had changed.

Earmarked for a reserve infielder spot on the club's 25-man roster, Ed Lucas instead is headed to the disabled list. In the eighth inning of Thursday's Roger Dean Stadium Grapefruit League finale against the Cardinals, Lucas took a Scott McGregor pitch off the left hand.

X-rays revealed a non-displaced fracture, meaning Lucas for the time being is out and Solano is back in. Earlier in the day, the Marlins declared the winners in their center field and back-up middle infielder battles when they optioned Jake Marisnick and Solano to the Zephyrs.

Lucas was set to join a bench that includes catcher Jeff Mathis, infielders Greg Dobbs and Jeff Baker, and outfielder Reed Johnson. That job now belongs to Solano, who made things difficult for the Marlins' decision makers. He hit .313 with a .742 on-base plus slugging percentage this spring.

In each of the last two seasons Solano, 26, has proved a serviceable backup. He is a .269 lifetime hitter with a .664 OPS in 711 plate appearances.

The Marlins went with Lucas because of the added versatility. In addition to all four infield positions, Lucas can play left and also serves as the team's emergency third catcher.