The plan was to put Christian Yelich in left, Giancarlo Stanton in right, and slap Marcell Ozuna in between the two in centerfield. Ozuna, who is more suited to playing in right field, really had an impact on the Marlins offense last season as a replacement for the injured Giancarlo Stanton. Yet right now, his spot on the roster is in jeopardy.
Ozuna has not had a good spring offensively. He’s hitting .161 with 11Ks in 31 ABs. Compared to last season’s .364 average, Ozuna looks to be banking on his previous production to this point to earn a spot – which is precisely what the team and Ozuna cannot do at this point.
Meanwhile, Jake Marisnick is getting more looks. It was expected that he would not be MLB-ready at this point and the Marlins had hoped he would get more seasoning down at the minor league level. Defensively, Marisnick is arguably the best in the Marlins organization in the outfield. With only 3 Ks in 24 ABs, the .375/.423/.520 line is not looking too bad. That said, Marisnick hit .455 last spring – but only in 11 ABs before being sent off to work with the minor leaguers.
Then there is what looks like Plan C – platooning Reed Johnson and Brian Bogusevic at the start of the season until either Marisnick or Ozuna look ready for a permanent role. Johnson is having a strong spring (5 hits against the Mets) and is looking like a strong addition to the bench while putting up similar numbers to Marisnick (.375/.423/.458) – his best spring in his career.
Which plan will stick? If Ozuna doesn’t start putting together better offensive production, the door may be left open for Marisnick. Then again, getting Johnson on the roster at the start of the season may make a lot of sense given his experience and track record as a pro. Bogusevic has always factored in as the 4th outfielder, spelling the rest of the starters as often as possible but if Ozuna doesn’t make it at the start, he would most likely see more playing time in the OF.