Cameron Maybin became the odd man out when the Marlins called up top prospect Mike Stanton last week. And while his immediate future remains uncertain, Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest said Tuesday Maybin was still a "big time" part of the team's future moving forward.
"He's a talented kid," Beinfest said (CLICK ON THE LINK FOR THE COMPLETE AUDIO INTERVIEW). "I think he did a good job fighting through some stuff this year. He was fighting for awhile and then he had that run where he started to come back and show what he could do. I think we need to get Cameron playing and playing everyday. I'm not sure that's going to happen right now. But definitely in the future."
Maybin, acquired along with pitcher Andrew Miller in the Miguel Cabrera-Dontrelle Willis trade with the Tigers before the 2008 season, hasn't played since Stanton was called up. He went 1 for 3 with a double in his last game June 6th against the Mets to raise his season batting average to .225. Beinfest said the Marlins didn't feel a demotion to Triple A was "warranted."
"We're just going to take it day-by-day and series by series and figure out what's best for the team and what's best for him," Beinfest said. "I'm not sure I have a good answer. But again, we didn't want to send him down... we want to be as fair to him as we can and do what's right for the team on the other hand. But he's handled it well. I commend him for that."
> ON THE RACE: With the Marlins (31-32) 5 1/2 games back of Atlanta in the division, Beinfest said he saw glimpses of the team breaking out more offensively last weekend in Tampa, a sign he thinks will lead to a turnaround in the standings.
"I think the spark really when you look at it is what Chris Coghlan has been doing in the leadoff spot," Beinfest said of Coghlan, who is hitting .425 since May 25th. "Maybe that's something we didn't have the first two months. Hanley [Ramirez] is going to knock in a bunch of runs and we're going to score a bunch of runs. I think we're relatively confident we're going to get going and really score some runs."
As for the bullpen, which ranks 21st in baseball with a 4.48 ERA, Beinfest he believes its only a matter of time before things "settle down." "As long as the starting pitching continues to perform, it will take some pressure off the bullpen," Beinfest said. "We understand some of the challenges in the bullpen. But those guys can hopefully fit into roles and things will settle down. When you talk about the puzzle and playing winning baseball a lot has to fit together. I'm not sure we've totally fit together so far. I know its cliche and B.S. But that's the best I can come up with so far."
Beinfest mentioned several minor league players as potential bullpen call-ups later on this season. The first name out of his mouth -- 21-year old hard-throwing right-hander Jhan Marinez, who was recently promoted to Double A Jacksonville after posting a 1.48 ERA in 24.1 IP for Single A Jupiter. "97-99 mph, all power, big arm, very big arm," Beinfest said of Marinez. "He's a young guy and wetill need to polish him up a little bit. But his slider has come a long way, which he'll need up here. But he's got big-time power stuff."
Other pitchers Beinfest mentioned: "Jose Ceda has been on rehab in Greensboro and threw today. He was 95 [miles per hour]. I think we'll see him back up in Double A soon. Sean West is pitching and pitching well in Triple A. [Dan] Jennings (3-1, 2.16 ERA in Double A) has really settled down. Steven Cisheck (1-1, 8.31 ERA in Double A) threw the ball well. I saw [Tom] Koehler [7-1, 3.34 ERA] pitch and Andrew Miller pitch. Andrew still has some issues, which he's working on. But again, the stuff is there. It's always been there. He just needs to throw strikes. So, we're hopeful the light will come back on and it will click."
> IMPRESSED BY STANTON: As for Stanton, Beinfest said he's been impressed by the 20-year olds first five games in the big leagues. "You want him to relax. You want him to kind of get it going and I think he's done a nice job of that," Beinfest said. "He's an intense player by nature. I think there are expectations for him to hit home runs. He hasn't done that yet. But the two base hits up the middle [Sunday], that shows a lot of maturity. He got those RBI on Sunday in Tampa and those are the positive things we're looking for, for him to settle in and I think he's done a nice job so far with that. So, all in all, we're pleased with what we've seen and how he's handled himself, which can be just as important as the performance."
> NO TRADES FOR CATCHING: With John Baker out until mid-August, Beinfest said the Marlins plan to rely on Ronny Paulino and Brett Hayes to handle the catching and won't be looking to acquire anyone. "Ronny has played everyday before," Beinfest said. "I think Brett could do a good job. He's shown he can handle the pitchers up here fine. He does a nice job defensively."