« Marlins trade draft pick for reliever Bryan Morris; more on Salty | Main | Marlins reportedly agree to deal with former closer Kevin Gregg pending physical »

Dietrich could get a couple days off following defensive lapses

With Rafael Furcal rehabbing since mid-March, Derek Dietrich has had plenty of opportunities to stake his claim to the starting second baseman's job. But his defense has been hurting him -- and that's why he's not starting against the Rays Monday.

Although he wasn't charged with any errors in Sunday's 4-2 series-sweeping loss to the Braves, Dietrich made two poor throws to first base including one which cost the Marlins a run. And frankly, manager Mike Redmond is tired of defensive mishaps hurting the Marlins.

"I've given him a couple days off earlier in the year just to kind of clear his head," Redmond said. "Sometimes it's like anything. It's like offense. You just need a couple days to clear your head and relax. A lot of times that works. I think it worked before. We gave him a couple days off and let him relax. He seemed to play much better after that. I'm hoping that's the key."

Dietrich's seven errors at second base are tied for the National League-lead with Dan Uggla. Offensively, his OPS of .785 ranks third among second basemen with at least 100 at-bats, behind only Chase Utley (.905) and Jose Altuve (.788).

He's started 36 games for the Marlins at second base. Jeff Baker is the next closest teammate with 10 starts at second base. 

"We'll see," Redmond said when asked how long Dietrich will be given off to clear his head. "We'll give him a night off tonight. It will be day-to-day. We'll see."

> Speaking of Furcal, he'll be heading up to Double A Jacksonville on Wednsesday and playing with the Suns on Thursday Redmond said. Since returning to action May 29 with Single A Jupiter, Furcal has gone 3-for-9 at the plate with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. 

"From what I've heard he's feeling good and moving around much better than he has," Redmond said. "That's good."

> Right-handed reliever Bryan Morris, acquired in a trade Sunday with the Pirates for a draft pick, arrived in South Florida Monday morning after bad weather kept him grounded in Houston for the night Sunday. A former 2008 first round pick of the Dodgers, Morris was 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 21 relief appearances for Pittsburgh this season.

What kind of role can he expect with the Marlins? Redmond didn't exactly say, but he's happy Morris has major league experience. 

"Hopefully he can go out there and help us out and help us get off this see-saw," Redmond said of the bullpen's struggles. "This guy has been through it. He's pitched in big games and been in quite a few different roles. He brings that experience where we can get him out there in really any situation for me and let him go out there and pitch. That's what was so attractive. Because of that versatility and the fact were not bringing up a rookie to see what he's got.

"We know the stuff he has. Now it's just a matter of getting out there and pitching. I think a change of scenery is good for him. He's going to realize quick how big a part of the team he is."

Morris has seen the majority of his work throughout his career in the seventh and eighth innings. His career ERA in the 7th inning is 3.60 in 31 appearances and 25 innings of work. His career ER in the 8th inning is 3.26 in 34 appearances and 30 1/3 innings of work. 

> Redmond said he hopes to get catcher J.T. Realmuto some work this week. Redmond said Realmuto could get a start Thursday when the Marlins finish up a quick two-game set in Tampa with an afternoon game.


> Marlins: 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Ed Lucas 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Randy Wolf LHP.


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


Garrett Jones failed to make the short hop catch on Dietrich's throw ... a play all good first basemen make routinely. Jones is the biggest villain defensively - he and Salty. Benching Dietrich only hurts the team ... he has the best approach at the plate in the whole lineup and hits the ball hard more often than anybody. Sitting him down because Jones failed to make a routine play only hurts Dietrich's confidence... the last thing a manager should be doing.


Dietrich is running out of time. Furcal is coming back soon and Dietrich has given Redmond little reason to choose him over Furcal. Dietrich is nice offensively, but makes defensive errors too often.


Daniel Murphy of the Mets also has 7 errors (and first basemen who can't make a routine play). He's a comparable offensive talent to Dietrich and his manager wouldn't dream of sitting him! After dealing the 39th draft pick for a reliever who doesn't even shine compared to Carlos Marmol, I guess anything is possible from Marlins' management.


One final thought: Echevarria was saved of his seventh error of the season when Jones actually caught (cradled in his belly) a routine throw that bounced to first base. If Jones had dropped that throw too, would Ech be on the bench to think about it for a few games???

Flav C.

Saturday game against the Braves, the game where Turner started, top of 3rd, Hech made a mental error when he caught a linedrive Upton hit at him. With man on 2B, the runner was several steps off of the base and Hech could have double them off, but let the ball drop during the exchange from the mitt to his bare hand.

The inning could have been over at that point. But right after that play the Braves scored three runs, one of them unearned due to a throwing error by Hech.

Those are the small things that put the team in a hole, and I had pointed them out the other day.

I don't know how many of you have the opportunity to go to the games. I had the chance to see 3 of the great SS in the game right now (Tulo, Rollins, and Simmons). If you watch them in the ballpark, you will see what the TV can't show: the way they synchronize their positioning according to the pitch count and to the signs the catcher gives to the pitcher. They are never idle. When you compare them with Hech, he is like a statue. And that is annoying because he has the gift to be a great SS, but just doesn't develop it.


Maybe Redmond should sit out a few games to clear HIS mind... Leaving Koehler in to start the 7th in his last start, when he had been smoke-and-mirroring his way through six innings with a 2/something WHIP aided by 3 or 4 double-play ground outs... The bullpen will hold or it won't (it held this day, fwiw), but the world could see Koehler was done. Well, most of the world, anyway...

Jay Frilaurio

Flav, great post!

Defense is not just a matter of natural skill, like many fans and even players and GMs believe. Clearly, natural ability helps a great deal. But it has as much, if not more, to do with desire, which translates to hard work... before the games, in-between games, and during games. It is that very type of desire that separates a SS like Derek Jeter from the multitude of shortstops that have come and gone during his 20 years, many of whom had twice the skills of Jeter, but not even half of his baseball IQ. Players like him decide what they're going to do with the ball BEFORE the pitch. They will make errors, like anybody else, since nobody's perfect. But you will never see guys like him commit mental errors, such as throw when they should hold on to the ball, or throw to the wrong base, etc. This play below was in no way, shape, or form a matter of luck...


Good insight on your part!

Dionysus Thelxinoe

If I was given a choice between Dietrich, Hech, and Salty, I'd pick Dietrich.


DT, you wouldn't just punt?

A Realist

And again we can't score very many runs.

I know I am a little late with this post, but Hill's comments make me think he reads this blog. Someone one asked whether or not I think the players read this. I do and I also think the front office reads this. The Miami Herald is closet major newspaper to the Marlins. What better way to get a feel for what fans are saying? Hill's response almost felt like a direct reply to so many of our comments. Maybe that's just me wanting to feel more important than I am. I don't know.

Mr. Hill and the rest of the front office listen up! You guys suck. If I saw you walking with your family around town I would tell you to your face that you're all frauds (I told Jeff Ireland in Publix). You're fortunate to be operating a franchise in a town that doesn't pay attention to baseball. It won't stay that way forever, though. You guys are going to have to answer for the crappy job you've done sooner or later. I don't know how you show your faces in public knowing you are stealing money from the city of Miami and what little fans the Marlins have.

A Realist

Why doesn't Lucas play 2nd permanently? Any particular reason? Every time he plays good things happen. Why plug in Furcal when we have a reliable younger option in Lucas?

Lou Vales

They have people on the patrol whose job it is to read these forums. I told Loria to "friend" me on Facebook. I live in Greenville, South Carolina.

Lou Vales

I meant "payroll" but "patrol" is just as good.

Mr. B

Redmond has not proven to be a good manager so far. He doesn't know how to use his bullpen, throws his players under the bus nor does he hit players in the right spot in the lineup. Then again, fish stink at the head, so it comes from the top...

The comments to this entry are closed.