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.