George Richards here covering a little baseball.
Good to have some news on what should have been a slow and quiet Sunday:
With the exception of reliever Randy Choate and a few others walking around in undershirts that read “LoMo Camp for a Cure,'' there was little evidence of Logan Morrison's presence in the Marlins clubhouse early Sunday morning.
The Marlins sent the outspoken left fielder to Triple-A New Orleans following Saturday night's loss to the Giants. Florida also cut veteran Wes Helms on Saturday. Helms' double locker near the entrance to the clubhouse was occupied on Sunday by New Orleans call-ups Ozzie Martinez and Jose Lopez.
“Thx guys 4 all of ur kind words & support,'' Morrison posted on his Twitter account at 2:22 a.m. Sunday. The thank you note was the only post Morrison put up on Sunday.
On Saturday, Morrison alluded to various off field issues that led to his demotion. Morrison apologized via Twitter account for missing an photo session with season ticket holders prior to the event on Saturday.
Larry Beinfest, the team's president of baseball operations, refused to comment on that absence. Morrison's avatar on Twitter the past few months is a drawing of himself in a Marlins cap with duct tape over his mouth, the word 'censored' in all capital letters.
The 23-year-old converted first baseman was 0-for-3 on Saturday, but had two hits in each of his previous games and was second on the team with 17 homers and third with 60 RBI despite missing time with an injured foot. Morrison was also third on the team in slugging and fourth in on-base percentage.
“I'm not going to get into the he-said, he-said thing,'' Beinfest said. “We have what we felt were solid good reasons that will be good for him in sending him down. I'll leave it at that. He just needs to concentrate on playing baseball and working his way back. We thought this was the right thing to do for Logan. .-.-. [Morrison] will be a good player for a long time. The talent is there. He just needs to work on all aspects of being a major leaguer. He's a much better hitter than he's shown."
Manager Jack McKeon said Marlins management made the decision. McKeon says he didn't know about the move until being told a change was being made following Saturday's game. McKeon, who nicknamed Morrison 'Twitter', said sometimes young players need a breather the minors can provide.
“If there is a message, it's 'don't get comfortable','' McKeon said. “Don't think you have it made. You have to work at this game. Too many young guys think they have it made, are darlings of the media, run their mouth. Tend to your business, get better at your craft. The record books are full of one and two-year phenoms. Don't believe me? Look it up.''
Morrison's willingness to speak out has most definitely caught the attention of team management, with president David Samson saying in May that Morrison needs to be careful in what he posts on the site. Morrison's teammates have obviously noticed the attention he's brought on himself as those players who did speak about the situation on Sunday did so in hushed tones and with choice words.
“The organization thought they needed to do it and they did it. There's nothing else really to say,'' said first baseman Gaby Sanchez. “It happened and that's about it. .-.-. This is a family and what happened is in-house. We all understand it, all know it. You have to choose your words wisely, you can't be blurting things out. These are things the happen in-house. It happened and that's it.''
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez continues to rehabilitate his injured left shoulder at the Marlins' complex in Jupiter with McKeon saying he doesn't know when Ramirez can return to the lineup. Ramirez was injured on Aug. 2 and was put on the 15-day disabled list. He's eligible to come off on Thursday although Beinfest isn't optimistic he'll be ready then.
“I can't tell you. He's over in Jupiter. It's something he's going to have to answer,'' McKeon. “Does the shoulder still bother him? I don't know. I hope the rest does him some good, the therapy is going good, not taking three or four at-bats a night is beneficial. He's hurt that shoulder before. That's his concern. He doesn't want another operation.''
-- The Marlins have until midnight on Monday to sign some of their top draft picks including Jose Fernandez (pitcher, first round) and Adam Conley (pitcher, second). Fernandez is committed to play baseball at USF in Tampa if he doesn't sign with the Marlins by the deadline. Conley, who is committed to the Gators, was reported to have signed a deal with the Marlins although Beinfest said only that the two sides were close.
Clay Hensley has lost his past two starts, but is 4-2 lifetime against the Rockies in seven starts. Hensley hasn't started against the Rockies since 2007 as a member of the Padres, however, but has made a total of nine appearances against them in the subsequent seasons.
Monday: Marlins RHP Clay Hensley (1-4, 4.50 ERA) at Colorado Rockies RHP Kevin Millwood (0-1, 3.86).Tuesday: Marlins RHP Anibal Sanchez (6-6, 4.00) at Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin (9-9, 3.39).