Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond must be tired of saying it. At his post-game press conference on Friday night, Redmond commented on a roster move that would send one of Miami's promising young talents to the minor leagues to "work on parts of his game."
Following a 5-0 loss to the Atlanta Braves, the Marlins optioned catcher Rob Brantly, acquired in the Anibal Sanchez trade with Detroit last season, to Triple-A New Orleans. The left-handed hitting catcher was batting .225/.275/.284 and at times struggled defensively.
"We talked about it, and I felt like it was best for him to go down to the Minor Leagues and get a chance to play these next 25, 26 games, whatever left down there," manager Mike Redmond said in an MLB.com interview. "I really was only using him one or two days a week, max. I just felt like in the development process, it was best for him to go down and play and work on parts of his game that he needs to work on and get some confidence. I think it will be really good for him." by his nine past balls and .989 fielding percentage.
Brantly isn't the first Marlins rookie to be sent to the minors to improve and become consistent. Second baseman Derek Dietrich and outfielder Marcell Ozuna (currently on the DL) both were demoted late in July to make room for two other Miami prospects, Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich.
Unlike the crowded outfield situation Miami is dealing with, the Marlins don't have a ton of depth at the catcher position in the minor leagues. Over the past few years, Miami has either signed a veteran backstop or utilized what they did have within the organization, such as they did with Brett Hayes.
In a season of assessment, the Marlins are losing evaluation time by demoting the second year catcher. However, they are hopeful that he is the catcher of the future, and will repair the flawed parts of his game while in the minors.
"Part of what concerned me is he may have lost his personality a little bit," Redmond said. "We saw a guy in Spring Training who was bouncing around, having fun, joking around. Then over the last, really, a month, I think he kind of lost that. For me, it's confidence. The big leagues is tough. You've got to have your game right."
The Marlins as an organization have a history of rushing prospects. After acquiring Brantly, the Marlins used him immediately instead of first observing how he performed at the lower levels (Editor's note: Brantly had already reached Triple-A when he arrived in 2012 -MJ).
How Brantly performs in Triple-A will determine whether or not Brantly rejoins the Marlins in September when rosters expand, general Manager Michael Hill said.
"With young prospects, sometimes you've got to take a step back to get them back on track," Hill said of Brantly. "We will get him back in the flow, and hopefully, he regains some confidence."
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