Hitting just .167 over the past four weeks, the Marlins decided to send struggling Marcell Ozuna back to AAA New Orleans to get his swing right. His average was as high as .289 this season, but has now dipped below .250. He has struggled at the plate; vacillating between his natural aggressive tendencies towards trying to become a more patient hitter. Perhaps trying to work his counts has degraded his approach at the plate and ability to identify hittable pitches.
This leaves a gaping hole in the CF spot. Ozuna, along with Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton, was being argued to be among the best OF trios in the game. Yelich’s early season struggles seem to be behind him, but Stanton’s injury has derailed the trio as well as the Marlins’ offense for the time being. With Ozuna now gone, it remains to be seen who will replace him in CF – most likely some split time among Yelich, Cole Gillepsie, and possibly Jordany Valdespin.
With Jarred Cosart being optioned to AAA NOLA, this situation also gets thrown into even higher relief. Cosart was dealt, in part, for Jake Marisnick, a defensively precocious prospect that could have manned CF in just this situation.
On the other hand, the Marlins are trying to get something of value out of Michael Morse, who was signed to a two year deal at the start of the season to fill the void that was 1B for the Fish. Garrett Jones did as well as advertised – a limited hitter who needed to be sat against lefties but had solid power. With Morse, the Marlins have not gotten anything from him offensively. With Justin Bour seemingly becoming a reliable, every day 1B, it seems Morse will have to work his way back by playing some corner OF spots along with 1B.
So, the Marlins offense gets more instability to go along with their unhealthy pitching. We’ll see if Ozuna can get things going again in the minors and perhaps make a stronger return with the Fish.