Miami Marlins Monday Week 12: The Odd Outfielder Out and In-N-Out Burgers

Miami Marlins
Miami Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna flips his bat after striking out against the Arizona Diamondbacks. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

This was a good week for the Marlins. (And a good week for rookie Marcell Ozuna’s tummy.) The Fish managed their first winning road trip since May of 2012, taking four of seven games in Arizona and San Francisco, two teams locked in a heated race in the NL West.

One of the players who wasn’t necessarily having a good week was Justin Ruggiano. While Ruggi leads the team with 11 home runs and 28 RBI, his last month or so had been a struggle. When Chris Coghlan suddenly caught fire, prior to his injury, Ruggiano found himself the odd man out. When Coghlan went down, Giancarlo Stanton’s return kept Ruggi on the pine. Manager Mike Redmond elected to use Ruggiano as part of a platoon with the light-hitting Juan Pierre. So after going 0-for-5 in one of his few turns in the lineup, Ruggiano did not expect to play the next day.

But he did. And boy did he respond. Ruggiano hit a lead-off homer against Giants ace Matt Cain, and connected on a second homer in the ninth inning.

One of the outfielders that squeezed Ruggiano off the field is rookie Marcell Ozuna. On his first Major League road trip out West, Ozuna hit up a popular fast-food joint, In-N-Out Burger and ate somewhere between three to five “double-doubles”. The following from the Miami Herald:

“I told him after the game, because I think he had about four or five In-N-Out Burgers, I said maybe that was the reason why you couldn’t catch that ball,” manager Mike Redmond said of Hunter Pence’s RBI double to shallow center in the fifth, which Ozuna completely whiffed on. “But I said you got a big hit, so I forgot about it already.”…

Ozuna contended afterward that he didn’t eat four or five hamburgers from the popular West Coast chain, as his manager and teammates claimed. But he did acknowledge he had three, along with three chocolate chip cookies and a glass of apple juice. No fries. No shake.

“Just three,” Ozuna said of his burger consumption. “My teammates say five. Today I eat three. Tomorrow I eat four, and the next day five, and (then) we leave for Miami.”

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Miami Marlins Monday Week 7: Closer Controversies and Cammo Caps

Miami Marlins

During this, the seventh week of the Season of Woe, the Marlins exercised their right to be the worst team in the Majors yet again. A recent seven-game losing streak, snapped last Sunday with a rare win against the Arizona Diamondbacks, earned the Fish a share of the league’s worst record with the Houston Astros. Yet, even in the win, a player may have lost. Reliever  Steve Cishek, one of the few bright spots last season, may have lost his hold on the Closer role, as he was pulled during the final inning of Sunday’s win for lefty Mike Dunn. Dunn closed the game, but not before walking the bases-loaded and nearly blowing the game himself.

Cishek is 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA so far this season. He’s allowed 11 runs to score during his 18.1 innings pitched, and has registered a Major-League low five saves as the “Closer”. Dunn has been one of the better arms out of the ‘pen for the Marlins this season, surrendering only four runs during his team-high 23 appearances. He’s 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA as the, inexplicably, only lefty in the bullpen. The Marlins have promoted lefty Duane Below from Triple-A New Orleans. Below takes Jeep Enthusiast Jon Rauch’s spot on the roster, as the team parted ways with the tall righty last Friday night.

But while the Season of Woe continues to claim new victims, one of the earlier victims might be returning soon, thanks to an increasingly popular medical procedure. Giancarlo Stanton reportedly received a platelet-rich plasma injection to help heal his right hamstring strain. The procedure has been used by former Marlin Cody Ross, as well as several other athletes across the spectrum of sports.

“It promotes recovery a little quicker, especially if there is a lot of inflammation in that area,” Stanton said of the procedure.

New Era, the cap company responsible for all the on-field headgear of the MLB and its minor league affiliates, revealed this year’s designs for its annual Memorial Day Stars & Stripes program. Teams around the league will be sporting camouflage caps this season, a departure from the traditional Red, White and Blue design. All designs are for sale right now at MLB.com or neweracap.com.

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