Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton To DL, Prospect Marcell Ozuna To Debut
Following the Monday night 15-inning marathon between the Miami Marlins and New York Mets down in South Florida, a game in which 512 pitches were thrown between the two teams, the Marlins were forced to make some roster moves to accommodate some injuries. First baseman Joe Mahoney sat out of the game with a hamstring issue, and in the tenth inning, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton strained his hamstring as well attempting to beat out a softly hit ball. Both players have been placed on the 15 day disabled list.
Taking the roster spots of the injured Marlins players are left hand pitcher Brad Hand, who has shown signs of improvement in his Minor League stint thus far this season, and Baseball America’s #75 ranked prospect, outfielder Marcell Ozuna, was given the call that he will be on the Major League roster starting on Tuesday. Hand has been in the big leagues in both 2011 and 2012, making 12 starts in 2011 and only 1 in 2012. Hand struggled in both stints with the parent club Marlins, but he’s hoping to show some improvement and possibly an ability to stay up with the team this time around. Ozuna is a power bat that the Marlins signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008, when he was only 17 years old. The hope for the Fish is that Ozuna can replace some of the power lost by the injury to Stanton.
With Stanton going on the disabled list, this will mark the fifth time he has missed a significant amount of games due to a leg injury. In 2011, he injured his hamstring in an exhibition game during Spring Training, and the injury lingered into the season’s opening month. Later in 2011 against the Pirates, Stanton again injured his hamstring in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2012, Stanton, once more, injured his hamstring in Spring Training in an early contest of the month, and again, the injury lingered into April. In July of 2012, Stanton underwent a minor surgery to remove “loose bodies” from his knee, causing him to miss a month of the season.
Hand is a 23 year old lefty pitcher drafted in 2008 out of high school. Chances are he may not be up for too long, although there is a possibility he could replace veteran Wade LeBlanc in the rotation if Hand shows some consistency. LeBlanc has struggled his last three starts, giving up a total of 13 runs in 13.2 innings pitched. Batters are hitting .393 against LeBlanc in that span. While Hand has shown an ability thus far in AAA to limit damage this year, his walk rate still needs improvement, as he’s walked 13 in 27 innings, giving him a 4.3 BB/9. However, he hasn’t given up too many hits, with only 19 allowed in that span, an H/9 ratio of 6.3.
Here are Hand’s stats in AAA this year and his Major League (2011-2012) statistics:
As for Ozuna, he has shown steady progression with his power while being consistent elsewhere in his statistics. He started 2013 on the disabled list with a broken hand, similar to what would have been his Jacksonville Suns teammate Jake Marisnick, but once Ozuna was able to lace up his cleats, he’s been swinging with a purpose. So far, Ozuna is hitting .316 with five home runs (including a walk-off shot) and 16 runs driven in to go along with four doubles and a triple. At 22 years old and only ten games above single-A ball, some question the move to bring up the inexperienced Ozuna over veteran journeyman Matt Diaz, who is having a strong season in Triple-A thus far.
Ozuna’s Minor League career stats:
In the outfield, Ozuna has put up impressive numbers with his arm and his glove. In 2011 alone in right field, Ozuna had 14 outfield assists, starting five double plays and having a range factor well above 2. In 2012, he had 10 more outfield assists, and started two double plays with another range factor well over 2. In his time in the Minors, he has racked up a total of 44 outfield assists, with 24 coming in the last two seasons.
It is currently unclear what the team will do with Ozuna once Stanton returns, but there is always the possibility that he impresses the team enough to keep him in the Majors and move him to left field to replace the struggling Juan Pierre. Regardless of what happens, Ozuna looks to provide power in the middle of this struggling offense that is now without it’s biggest bat.