The future is starting now for a couple of the Marlins’ top prospects.
After beating the Rockies, 3-1, on Monday night at Coors Field, the Marlins made some eye-opening moves. They selected the contracts of outfielders Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from Double-A Jacksonville.
Okay, so it's really not the Marlins at all; the current version of this team's future started last winter, when they traded nearly all of their expensive players. In their stead, cheap players summoned. To make room for Yelich and Marisnick, the Marlins sent (young) second baseman Derek Dietrich and (young) center fielder Marcell Ozuna back to the minors.
For the Marlins, the future isn't starting now. For the Marlins, the past is starting now. Or the beginning is ending now. Or some damn thing.
Actually, what's interesting about these moves is a) the Marlins seem to have given up already on Dietrich and Ozuna, and b) both Yelich and Marisnick have been summoned from Class AA. Many and perhaps most organizations would 1) have given Dietrich and Ozuna a bit more time, and 2) given Yelich and Marisnick at least a bit of Triple-A experience.
But of course the Marlins aren't just any old organization. They do their own things, and some of their own things (Jose Fernandez) work well, and some (almost everything else, but specifically Juan Pierre and almost everything else) don't work at all. The Marlins' ineptitude at the plate this season is stunning. Among the nine Marlins with at least 200 plate appearances this season, only Giancarlo Stanton has been better than average. Only Stanton has been nearly average. And so the Marlins rank last in the league in runs, last in the league in hits, last in the league in doubles, last in the league in home runs, last in the league in on-base percentage, and last in the league in slugging percentage.
One funny thing: It seems that Dietrich's at-bats will be given to 31-year-old Ed Lucas and 25-year-old Donovan Solano. Lucas is old, and Solano's actually hit significantly worse than Dietrich. But considering that Dietrich's not done well with the glove, this probably makes as much sense as anything else the Marlins do. Ozuna got off to a pretty good start, but has been terrible for some weeks now, and his minor-league track record ... Well, he's hardly got one. The Marlins made Ozuna a major leaguer with just 10 games of minor-league experience above Class A. That move made even less sense than most of the things the Marlins do.
Marisnick and Yelich have spent most of this season with Double-A Jacksonville, and both have done well. It's not obvious that either is ready to be play well in the majors, but then again it's the Marlins. If one or both fare well, great; if not, farewell to Triple-A, where at least the scenery will be new.
By the way, guys who aren't getting dumped? Veterans Placido Polanco and Juan Pierre, who have been significantly worse than Ozuna and Dietrich. Granted, they play different positions. It's just odd to see them -- along with their friends Jeff Mathis and Greg Dobbs -- still on the roster while the kids are getting shipped out.
Granted, of those four veterans, only Mathis started Tuesday night; perhaps it's better for Dietrich and Ozuna to be playing every day in the International League than riding the bench in the National. The Marlins have developed a fair number of good young players over the years, so maybe there really is a plan here.