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Struggling Infante given a 'mental day off'

With the Marlins still struggling at the plate, Ozzie Guillen continues to try and push the right buttons to turn things around.

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Omar Infante has seen his average dip from .340 to .296 over the past two weeks

Tonight against the Red Sox he's giving second baseman Omar Infante the night off. Infante, who has been one of the Marlins most consistent hitters all season, has seen his batting average dip more than 40 points in the last two weeks as he's produced just 11 hits in his last 59 at-bats (.186) without an RBI.

"He needed it," Guillen said. "He's mentally tired. He's been playing everyday. Hopefully with a couple days he'll get back on track."

If Guillen could he'd probably do the same for a few other guys, too. The Marlins have been absolutely putrid at the plate with runners in scoring position on this 0-6 home stand -- going just 5 for 50 in those situations.

"Our hitting is not helping us at all," Guillen said. 

"When we were playing well, that's what we [were] doing. We got the big hits. Everytime they scored one, we scored two, came back. Last couple games, last couple weeks, we're not doing that. I think we have to get better at-bats with runners in scoring position and not try to do too much. I think the players, the hitters, every time they see runners in scoring position they try to do too much, change what they're supposed to do. They have to stick with it. Use the same approach at the plate."

Guillen lamented the run the Marlins cost themselves in the sixth inning Sunday when Justin Ruggiano, who started the inning with a pinch-hit double, was thrown out at home for just the second out of the inning. Ruggiano said Monday he was supposed to run on contact, but hesitated when Infante's ground ball went right by him and directly to third baseman Sean Rodriguez.

"James Shields has a great pickoff move to third -- one I saw with my own eyes when I was in Tampa -- so I wasn't taking a big lead," Ruggiano said. "But it's still my fault. If I had run as soon as he hit it, I would have forced [Rodriguez] to make a perfect throw home to get me."

> Although they still lead all of baseball by a wide margin in stolen bases, the Marlins haven't been very aggressive on the bases in June. Miami, which stole 40 bases in May, has just two steals this month and has been caught stealing twice. Guillen said there is an easy explanation for that.

"To steal second you have to get first. You cannot steal first," he said. "Besides that, the opportunity is not there. Most of the times we get on base, we're down by four, five runs and the game is not on the line. I think that's the biggest reason. I think as soon as we start getting more people on base you'll see more people running."

> Don't expect to see pitcher Carlos Zambrano putting on any shows during batting practice anymore. Guillen said he's cutting that out after Zambrano left his last start on Saturday with lower back stiffness.

"We're cutting down his swings," Guillen said. "Everytime I see him swing he wants to hit the ball all the way to the Toyota sign [in the upper deck in right field at Marlins Park]. He's done with that. Now, he's just going to bunt, bunt and bunt. No more home run derby."

Guillen said Zambrano's hitting isn't necessarily the reason the 31-year old right-hander is having back pain, but called it something the Marlins "can control."

"Carlos puts on a show when he hits," Guillen said. "We have to control that. I'm not going to say he's not going to hit. But you don't win games in batting practice."

Guillen expects Zambrano will make his next scheduled start Friday in Tampa Bay.

MONDAY'S LINEUPS
> Red Sox (29-31): 1. Scott Podsednik LF, 2. Dustin Pedroia 2B, 3. Adrian Gonzalez RF, 4. David Ortiz 1B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 6. Kevin Youkilis 3B, 7. Ryan Sweeney CF, 8. Mike Aviles SS, 9. Josh Beckett P.
> Marlins (31-29): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Donovan Solano 2B, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 5. Logan Morrison LF, 6. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 7. Chris Coghlan CF, 8. John Buck C, 9. Josh Johnson P.

Comments

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Glags

I certainly hope that's not why Ruggiano isn't starting today.

answer man

Marlins are hoping against hope that Cogz gets going. He is out of options and must pass thru waivers if the Marlins try to send him down again.He will be claimed,with Marlins getting zip. Trade value is nill.

Glags

If that's the case then cut your losses.

Flagstafffishfan

I've never seen a team that has so many players that need a "mental health day off". Agreed that Cogs needs to just be let go. He can become a preacher and have some success cuz god clearly doesn't want him to play baseball anymore. J/k

Oh No, We Suck Again!

Jesus has forsaken Father Coghlan. To hell with him. Literally, and figuratively. As for Omar Infante, we'd be better off right now with Lindy Infante. Another home swept, coming up. Last place, here we come!

Flagstafffishfan

Lol. Sounds like more Sox fans...once again.

Glags

These guys must know how long games on ESPN can take. Both Hanley and Stanton both swung at the first pitch.

Flagstafffishfan

What the he'll happened? Which team is this? Why do I torture myself with this game?

Flagstafffishfan

Hell not he'll

friends in Greenville

Oh No We Suck Again is Lou Vales

Lou Vales

Lou Vales will start signing his name again so he can neutralize the idiotic gutlessness of reprobates like the prior poster. The amount of time these people must spend in their stepfathers' basements must be crushing.

Blog Police

Lou Vales.... Busted and Disgusted

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