Logan Morrison, sitting in front of his locker and wearing a Hanley Ramirez jersey T-shirt, addressed the media for about five minutes before the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, speaking for the first time since he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
Morrison is in the Marlins' lineup for Game One, batting third and playing left field, the same lineup spot and position he was playing when he was sent down 10 days ago.
"I hope he gives us the same production he was giving us before," manager Jack McKeon said. "Despite his .249 batting average, he was still right up there with RBI, he was getting a lot of key hits. We’ve been looking for that key hit now for two weeks, so hopefully he can supply that.
"He’s a good kid, really. I talked to him earlier and he understands the situation. I’m quite sure you’re going to see a different guy."
Here's the complete transcript from Morrison's meeting earlier today...
Nothing. Just got called back up, so I’m pretty excited.
(How difficult have these last 10 days been?)
It hasn’t been easy, but take it in strike and deal with it and just keep moving forward, keep pushing forward.
(How did you play in New Orleans? Do you say up there or down there?)
I guess you say up there geographically but down there in status. I did OK in New Orleans. Played Colorado Springs, the Rockies, I did OK against those guys. And then faced the Rangers, and I’m pretty sure they don’t have a Triple-A team, they have another big-league team. Those guys have some pretty good arms. It was big-league pitching with Triple-A lighting, so it was difficult for me, but those guys didn’t seem to have any problem. The New Orleans team rakes.
(You had a groin or hamstring injury?)
Groin. That was like the third night down there, or second night down there. I don’t know, it’s fine now. No soreness or anything.
(Did you miss any time?)
I missed one game because of it, but then I was back the next day.
(Did they have any conversations with you about what they expect?)
No, I haven’t talked to anybody.
(Even since that night, have you talked to anybody?)
No, I hadn’t talked to anybody.
(Did that surprise you? Did you want to know more from them?)
No, I just didn’t really care at that point, I just knew I was being sent down. Go down there, work on things, come back up ready to play.
(Did you see the scores up here, see what was happening?)
Yeah, I know it’s tough that, I wish I could be there with these guys. That’s the tough part about it. Teams are going to struggle, but you always like to be with your teammates while they’re doing it, while they’re going through the ups and the downs.
(Are you going to be any more reserved than you were before? Or are you going to be the same guy?)
I’ll be the same person.
(Tweeting and communicating and all that?)
(Did that have anything to do with the move by the team?)
I have no idea.
(You don’t have a handle why you were sent up or down?)
No, I don’t. I’m just here to play.
(Is it important for you to find out?)
No, I don’t really care. Not any more, it’s in the past. Just looking to move forward.
(Is it a wasted move if you don’t know why they did it?)
I mean, I don’t really have any control over it. I can’t control it. I can’t control if they’re going to give me a reason or not. So I’m just here to play baseball. Get the jersey dirty and help the team win games, that’s all I can do.
(What do you think was accomplished by the move?)
I’m not sure. I just went down there and played hard, just like I do up there. That’s all I know. I don’t know anything else.
(How would you describe your relationship with the organization?)
I don’t know, I haven’t talked to anybody.
(From your standpoint, did the move change anything?)
No, I think the relationship is that I’m the baseball player and they’re the organization that provides the jersey. So I’m just going to go out there and play hard for my teammates and for organization, and that’s the relationship that I have with them.
(Did you think you were being punished for anything?)
I don’t know. I try not to think about any of that stuff. It’s hard enough hitting a baseball, so I just kind of deal with that and go from there.
(Larry Beinfest said it was surprising to see you hitting .249. Do you agree?)
Yeah, I’m not a .249 hitter, or a .240 hitter, .250 hitter, I see myself as more of a .300 hitter. But it’s part of the game. You struggle. You have ups, you have downs, you have good seasons, you have bad seasons. Just take these next five weeks, work to get and hopefully work to get the average up a little bit. If not, just grind it out and ground out at-bats and grind out games.
(How’s your knee?)
It’s alright. Healing up pretty good. Still can see where the stitches are. Healing up pretty good.
(What’s up with the Hanley jersey you’re wearing?)
I don’t know. I think they gave these to us during spring training, I just picked it out of my locker.
(When did you get the news that you were coming back?)
I was in the clubhouse yesterday when [Greg Norton], the manager, came and said, ‘Pack your bags, you’re going back to Miami.’ I was like, ‘OK, cool.’ I don’t know where else to go from there. Got on a plane at 6 and was over here by 12:30 last night.
Including Tuesday’s ninth-inning meltdown, Marlins closer Leo Nuñez has had several rocky outings in a row, allowing nine runs in his last 2 2/3 innings while blowing two saves and squeaking by for a one-run victory in the other appearance.
What’s going on with Nuñez?
“I wish I knew,” McKeon said. “He’s done a pretty good job most of the year, and the last few times out I don’t know what has happened to him.”
McKeon questioned his 28-year-old reliever’s pitch selection at times.
“He trusts his fastball, but he’s been getting hurt on the changeups,” McKeon said. “He had that guy [Tuesday] night, [Dave] Sappelt — [Sappelt] couldn’t get around on him and he throws him a changeup and hits it for a double and ties the game.”
Does Nuñez rely to heavily on his offspeed stuff?
"I think so, yeah," McKeon said. "The idea is if you’ve got a good change — and he’s got a good change — you’ve got to keep the ball down. You just can’t say, ‘I’ve got a change,’ and just throw it and think these hitters are going — if you throw it up in the zone, any good hitter is going to jump on it. It’s like a batting practice pitch. But hopefully he learns from his mistakes.
Nuñez was unavailable on Wednesday, as McKeon said he wanted to “give [Nuñez] a few days rest.” McKeon said Edward Mujica and Steve Cishek would be used in save situations.
"Mujica has done a super job for us," McKeon said. "He got hit in San Diego, but that happens when a guy leads off with a double or triple. That’s something, in the bottom of the ninth you cant do much about that. Overall, he’s been pretty successful. And Cishek is coming along. He’s done a fine job."
GAME ONE LINEUPS:
Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, ss; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Mike Stanton, rf; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6.Jose Lopez, 1b; 7. Mike Cameron, cf; 8. John Buck, c; 9. Javier Vazquez, p
Reds: 1. Brandon Phillips, 2b; 2. Dave Sappelt, lf; 3. Joey Votto, 1b; 4. Jay Bruce, rf; 5. Ramon Hernandez, c; 6. Drew Stubbs, cf; 7. Todd Frazier, 3b; 8. Edgar Renteria, ss; 9. Homey Bailey, p
-- Matt Forman