Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich was available to manager Mike Redmond Sunday for the first time since June 13, when Yelich suffered a lower back strain.
He said he felt healthy a week ago, but he was not eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list until Sunday.
“It was a very slow 15 days,” Yelich said Sunday. “I’m glad it’s over with.”
Yelich will start in center for Miami Sunday in the series finale against the Athletics. The 22-year-old was in the dugout Saturday, watching his team lose to Oakland, 7-6, in 14 innings. It was the Marlins' third straight loss and their sixth defeat in their last eight games.
“That was the toughest thing—the guys were out there battling, going extra innings and coming up a little short,” Yelich said. “Having to sit there and watch it and not being able to do anything about it was the toughest part. It will be nice to be back out there and really have an impact.”
Yelich played two games for Double A Jacksonville and a pair for Triple A New Orleans during his rehab stint. He had one home run and hit .200 over those four games.
Outfielder Jake Marisnick was optioned down to the minors Saturday to make room for Yelich on the roster.
STANTON DISCUSSES DERBY
Giancarlo Stanton confirmed Sunday that he has accepted an offer to compete in the 2014 Home Run Derby in Minneapolis, though the team has not yet been formally announced. National League Derby captain Troy Tulowitzki reached out to Stanton during the Marlins’ most recent roadtrip in Philadelphia, and Stanton said he was excited to accept the offer.
In the midst of a three-game losing streak though, Stanton said he is not thinking much about the July 14 event.
“I’m not worried about it at all at this point,” Stanton said. “We’ve had a rough couple games so it’s the last thing on my mind at the moment.”
Each league will have five participants square off in the Derby and then compete through a bracketed system to create an AL vs. NL final.
Stanton leads the National League in home runs (21) and RBI (60).
After leaving Saturday’s game with a cramp, outfielder Marcell Ozuna was not in the starting lineup Sunday. Yelich will start in center while Reed Johnson mans left field.
Ozuna said his rest was merely precautionary.
“They don’t want to lose me for two or three innings,” Ozuna said Sunday. “Tuesday I’ll be able to play.”
BULLPEN'S HEAVY LOAD
The Marlins bullpen entered Sunday third in Major League Baseball with 263.1 innings pitched, including 20 over the last three days.
Reliever Mike Dunn, who threw 31 pitches yesterday and has pitched in three of the Marlins' last four games, said he and his teammates have altered their routines to help deal with the increased workload.
“You’ve got to listen to your body and understand what you can or can’t do on a daily basis leading up to a game,” Dunn said. “I don’t think we’ve played long toss in over a week and the workout sessions have gone from an hour to 20-to-30 minutes.”
Dunn added that with the team’s off day Monday, Miami's first since June 12, more arms would be available for use Sunday.
“They asked us if we can go and knowing there is an off day tomorrow, I’m available today and a lot of guys are going to be,” he said. “I threw 30 pitches last night but we've got an off day tomorrow so I know I can go in there and pitch today and I know I’m not going to pick up a baseball tomorrow.”
The Marlins called up lefthander Dan Jennings from the minors before Sunday's game to provide depth in the bullpen.
> Athletics (50-30): 1. Craig Gentry CF, 2. Alberto Callaspo 2B, 3. Yoenis Cespedes LF, 4. Josh Donaldson 3B, 5. Nate Freiman 1B, 6. Brandon Moss RF, 7. Nick Punto SS, 8. Stephen Vogt C, 9. Tommy Milone LHP.
> Marlins (39-42): 1. Christian Yelich CF, 2. Reed Johnson LF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Ed Lucas SS, 6. Jeff Baker 1B, 7. Donovan Solano 2B, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Andrew Heaney P.
- Monday: Off.
- Tuesday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (5-3, 2.32 ERA) vs. Philadelphia Phillies TBA