After last night's game the Marlins made some surprising moves, optioning Logan Morrison to Triple-A New Orleans and releasing Wes Helms.
Let's first look at the LoMo demotion. The reason the Marlins gave, according to LoMo, was:
"They didn't give me anything," Morrison said. "I asked for an explanation and the one I got was, 'What are you hitting, .240?'"
Actually, his batting average for the season is .249. Not that it matters. LoMo is second on the club in home runs with 17 and third in RBI with 60, not to mention third in OPS at .791. Nope, production at the plate isn't the reason.
The Marlins have no one in the system who improves the team while LoMo is "working things out" in New Orleans. While I completely agree this isn't the year the Marlins were hoping to see from Morrison, that is true of most every player on team. After a dismal June and early July, he started hitting again. He drove in 26 runs in July to tie for the most in the Majors for the month, and he got off to a decent start in August.
All of this leads one to believe the Marlins had some other reason to send him down.
Joe Capozzi has a theory. (Read the entire post, he has all of the known info.)
Earlier in the day, he refused to participate in a photo session with season ticket holders at Sun Life Stadium. That might sound surprising, given Logan’s outgoing personality and popularity with fans, but apparently there were some hard feelings related to earlier promotional activities.
I know that this past Thursday — a Marlins off day — Logan canceled a charity bowling tournament in Miami because he said the Florida Marlins Community Foundation "dropped the ball" and didn’t sell enough lanes in advance.
Logan wasn’t happy about that. And there apparently were some other events in which players were supposed to participate. There was also an autograph signing earlier Saturday, which Logan participated in. But he put his foot down and did not participate in the photo session with season ticket holders.
The Marlins organization is very serious about meet and greets, and continuously missing them is a punishable offensive. But it does seem like if that were the reason, they would say so since it is stupid to send down a player for not representing his team as expected and then not tell him that was the reason for his demotion. How does a player know to correct his behavior if said behavior is never brought up?
There are two tweets by Joe Capozzi that makes one wonder if it was maybe for another reason.
joecapMARLINS joe capozzi LoMo says off field issue was NOT his candidness or twitter. "I think it’s something else but I don’t know if I want to say it right now."
joecapMARLINS joe capozzi LoMo-- Stand up for whats right and this happens . Its just not right
Conspiracy theories aside, we can all agree that Wes Helms' season hasn't been very productive. As a pinch hitter his slash stats are .212/.316/.303, and that ain't good. But given that in two weeks the Marlins call up the whole 40-man roster, it does make one wonder why they chose to part ways with Helms now, and not earlier in the season. Unless, of course, they want to make room on for the 40-man for someone else.
Bottom line is: there is something fishy about these moves at this time, and though the Marlins will never admit they're trying to force their mouthy left fielder into submission, it will be a very tough sell to try and convince us that Morrison's on-field performance is at the bottom of his demotion.
*GameFish contributed to this story.