« Mike Redmond recalls 2003 plate collision with Ty Wigginton | Main | New rule for collisions at the plate 'how it should be' says Saltalamacchia »

What's in a number? For CF Marcell Ozuna he's hoping 13 turns out to be the right fit

JUPITER -- Marcell Ozuna wants to make one thing clear: "I'm not superstitious about wearing [the number] 13."

This off season, the Marlins' 23-year old center fielder switched from 48 -- the number he wore as a rookie last year -- to the jersey  formerly worn by manager Ozzie Guillen in 2012 and utility man Chris Valaika in 2013.

The reason for the switch? "Something inside my mind, when I get hurt, I want to switch," Ozuna said Monday. 

Ozuna has switched numbers quite a bit in his career. He said he wore 18 when he first played in the Dominican Summer League. Then he switched to 27 when he signed with the Marlins and played for them in the minors. He wore that number until he injured his wrist for Single A Greensboro in 2010.

Then it was time to switch to 34. Ozuna wore that in the minors until he was called up last season by the big league squad. Since right-hander Tom Koehler was wearing 34, Ozuna settled on 48.

"A lot of people say 'Hey can I get your number' [when they get to the big leagues and somebody else already has their jersey number," Ozuna said. "Not me."

He hit .265 with 3 homers, 32 RBI and five stolen bases in 70 games for the Marlins before injuring his left thumb making a diving catch in Colorado on July 22. He decided this off-season it was time to switch again. After all, who wants to wear an unlucky number?

"If I don't get hurt, I'll wear [13] a long time," said Ozuna, who played winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the Gigantes del Cibao and hit hit .277 with 2 homers and 12 RBI (.376 slugging) in 34 games.

"I'll wear it my whole career."

Only two Marlins have ever worn the number 13 longer than one season: catchers Paul Hoover (2007-08) and  Rob Natal (1993-97). Omar Infante (2011), Mike Lamb (2010), Will Ohman (2010), Andy Gonzalez (2009) are the others.

What does Ozuna think of the most famous athlete to wear No. 13 in Miami -- Hall of Fame Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino?

"Who?" Ozuna asked. "Don't know him. I don't watch football."

> Reliever Steve Cishek, who was feeling some neck discomfort at the start of camp, said he will face live hitters for the first time in camp Thursday. He's thrown off the mound twice so far in camp.

"[Bullpen coach] Reid Cornelius stood in the batter's box  for me Sunday," Cishek said. "Of course it's not the same. I can't wait to face some real hitters."

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eddie S

Garrett Jones is terrific against righties while he hits over many years 193 against lefties. Jeff Baker is fanstastic againt lefties and bad against righties. Between the 2 they will hit minimumly 30 hours at 1st base. Jennings THE GM SAID TEAM 1ST INDIVIDUAL 2ND. PLEASE START WITH THIS PLATOON . BOTH ARE TERRIFIC PLATOON PLAYERS .THE ANSWER TO GARRET HITTING AGAINST LEFTIES AND BAKER HITTING AGAINST RIGHTIES. YOU CANT TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS!!!!

WTF

what does that have to do with the above post?

Lou Vales

I like to know the people I root for are good people and I can vouch for the ENTIRE Marlins'outfield. Ozuna in particular was a nice guy when I met him in Greenville when Greensboro came to town. We talked for about 5 minutes when he came in from the outfield pre game. Told him he would be up faster than he thought so start getting ready. Yelich was also a good kid but not as talkative. When Stanton played there he had the hugest smile and he laughed when I told him my "target Date" was 2010. You know what it was. Anyways all Marlins fans can relish that except for the ownership these appear to be good people. Didn't actually talk to Kyle Skipworth as I knew he would never be relevant.

Flav C.

13 is the number of HR's Ozuna will hit in 2014.

Lou Vales

I actually still have a bet with my friend that Skipworth NEVER gets a hit in a regular season game. How gutsy(confident???)is that?

bob

13 actually won't be a bad number, but it's still less than what we would except from someone with Ozuna's hype.

Also, Ozuna better become familiar with Dan Marino.

manny

Why should Ozuna become familar with Marino? Why would/should Ozuna even care about Marino?

manny

Should Ozuna become familar with Jake Scott also,who wore #13 for the undefeated 72' Dolphins and was a Pro-Bowler for the only Dolphins' teams that won the Super Bowl?

Billy the Marlin

get familar with anything to forget Ozzhole Guillen

Stan M

Lou, if you want to really get on a catcher, remember the legend of Steve Chilcott. I believe the Mets took him as the number one national draft of 1966 and he was a colossal flop. It was the player whom they passed over and was chosen as #2 that proved interesting. An outfielder named Reggie Jackson.

Choo Choo Coleman

Mets passed on Reggie because they didnt like the fact he had a white girlfriend at the time,and dated white women.

Stan M

That is very true and do I ever remember ol' Choo Choo Coleman. One thing is certain. He couldn't have written the missive above.

Lou Vales

Stan, I really don't want to get ON a catcher. I just want this catcher OFF of this roster. There is no place for a guy---Oh Screw It!!!!

The comments to this entry are closed.