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LoMo says struggles at the plate are mental and mechanical

After being given two days off to relax and find his rhythm at the plate, slumping first baseman Logan Morrison is expected to be back in the Marlins lineup Sunday against the Rays.

Logan Morrison
Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison is hitting just .164 since the start of May.

And the hope is he'll be the guy who hit .310 with two homers and eight RBI in April. Not the Morrison who has hit just .164 (18 for 110) with two home runs and seven RBI since then. 

"I'm just trying to go back to what made me successful, what got me here -- like going the other way, trying to have quality at-bats," said Morrison, who went into Saturday's game against the Rays hitless in his last 18 at-bats.

"I'm taking [the days off] as a good thing because there's not a lot of positive and I have to find some."

Morrison said his troubles at the plate are combination of mechanical and mental issues.

"You're only as good as the pitch you swing at," said Morrison, whose .214 batting average ranks fifth lowest among qualified everyday position players in the National League.

"So I have to do a better job swinging at strikes and letting the ball the travel, staying behind the ball. I think that's the biggest thing. It's just staying behind it. I hit the ball pretty well to right field twice the other day. But I wasn't behind it so it didn't go anywhere. As long as I can stay behind the ball I'll be alright."

Even if Morrison does turn it around, it might not be long before former first baseman Gaby Sanchez gets called back up. Sent down to the minors on May 20, Sanchez went into Saturday's game in Oklahoma City hitting .310 with three homers, 10 RBI and a .494 on base percentage for Triple A New Orleans. He went 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBI on Friday.

"We need this kid," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Morrison. "I did to him like I did to anybody else when they struggle. Hopefully, mentally, I helped him. Hopefully, when he's back in the lineup he's back in charge. We're a better team when he's in the lineup."


Reliever Edward Mujica, known for his fun-natured hijinks in the Marlins bullpen, has a new hobby that's keeping his teammates laughing between innings.

Call it imaginary sword fighting.

"He takes this dowel, ties a rope around it and he'll pretend like he's fighting some one," reliever Steve Cishek said. "I guess he found out I took fencing in college [at Carson Newman] and thought it was kind of cool. So, we looked up some equipment and ordered it."

The equipment -- a pair of swords and masks -- arrived in the Marlins clubhouse earlier this week. They can be found just above Mujica's locker with a Marlins logo attached.

"Just Mujica being Mujica," Cishek said.

> Asked about his impressions of Bryce Harper a week after seeing him, Guillen had nothing but praise for the 19-year-old Nationals’ outfielder.

“The kid got a good chance to be a great player,” Guillen said. “I don’t know why we don’t like players like that when they come to the league. This kid plays his [butt] off. This kid plays the game right. This kid has a lot of talent. Some rookies come here like a big shot, big ego, don’t run the bases. I’m the man. This kid do everything the opposite. He runs. He plays hard. He feels proud. He gets upset. Don’t hate the player."

Harper went 2-for-12 with a triple and two strikeouts last week when the Marlins got their first regular season taste of him.

> A charity softball game featuring the wives and sisters of Marlins and Rays players was played shortly before Saturday's game. The Rays won 14-2. 


> Rays (33-25): 1. Will Rhymes 3B, 2. Desmond Jennings LF, 3. Matt Joyce RF, 4. B.J. Upton CF, 5. Carlos Pena 1B, 6. Ben Zobrist 2B, 7. Elliot Johnson SS, 8. Jose Molina C, 9. Matt Moore LHP.

> Marlins (31-27): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Omar Infante 2B, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 5. Justin Ruggiano CF, 6. Austin Kearns 1B, 7. Donovan Solano LF, 8. John Buck C, 9. Carlos Zambrano RHP.