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.”

Read the rest of the article right here. CLICK ME!

Miami Marlins Monday Week 10: Who You Callin’ A Moran?

Plenty of news to report on the roster front. The MLB held their annual First Year Player draft this week, and the Miami Marlins held the #6 overall selection. The Marlins chose University of North Carolina third baseman Colin Moran, nephew of former outfielder B.J. Surhoff. Moran, who hit .348 with 13 home runs, led the NCAA this season with 86 RBI, and has led his Tar Heel team deep in the College World Series. 

“I like for them to have a little fire in their belly and this guy does,” said Marlins vice president of scouting Stan Meek.

The Marlins only third base prospect before drafting Moran was Zack Cox, who the Fish acquired last season in the Edward Mujica trade with the St Louis Cardinals. Cox, who was expected to start the season at Triple-A New Orleans, is currently hitting .318 with 6 RBI in 34 games with Double-A Jacksonville. Clearly, he’s not the long-term answer for the club, as they signed the corpse of Placido Polanco this off-season, despite Cox’s four season of minor league experience, and drafted a third basemen who they did not talk to during the pre-draft process.

“I hadn’t talked to them too much before the draft, so I guess it was a little bit of a surprise,” Moran said after the draft. “But I’m definitely really excited.”

Miami Marlins
Logan Morrison made his season debut last Sunday. (Photo Credit: Kathy Willens / AP)

In other roster news, the Marlins activated first baseman Logan Morrison from the 60-day DL, and placed OF Chris Coghlan on the 15-day DL with numbness in his right calf. Slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was also activated from the DL, and the team placed first baseman Casey Kotchman back on the DL. Former starting second baseman Donovan Solano was also activated from the DL, but was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, as rookie Derek Dietrich has played well in his stead, and rookie utility infielder Ed Lucas, a 10-year minor league veteran, has provided manager Mike Redmond with great flexibility.

LoMo’s return to the lineup will prove to be perhaps the most important return, as the team needs to assess what it has in the talented first baseman. Morrison injured his knee last July, and has been shut down ever since. He’s up for arbitration this coming winter, so the team will take the summer to evaluate him. Should Morrison struggle, the team might dump him, a la Cameron Maybin, but if he excels, he’ll be due a significant raise. (Another reason the team might dump him.)

Read the rest of the article right here. CLICK ME!