There are only so many ways to break bad news or to talk about it. For Miami Marlins fans this season, the talk surrounding the Fish has begun to sound like a broken record*.
*Do people still use references to records? How about a broken .mp3? Broken Zune? I don't get out much.
Anyways, after Tuesday night's incredible 15-inning victory over the New York Mets, the Bad News Express (are trains a better reference?) rolled into Miami yet again with the news of Giancarlo Stanton's hamstring injury. Stanton suffered the injury after hitting the first base bag awkwardly while running out a ground ball to the pitcher. After the game, Stanton was placed on the disabled list (along with first basement Joe Mahoney), though the extent of the injury is unclear. As a result, outfielder Marcell Ozuna (the fifth prospect on our Fish Stripes Top 20 Prospects list) and lefty starter Brad Hand have been recalled.
We've talked extensively about just how bad the Marlins have been offensively this season (as well as Giancarlo Stanton), and just when Stanton starts to hit balls into the stratosphere with three home runs in his last three games, he goes down with an injury that I'm guessing will sideline him for at least a month.
Right about now is when we'll see the painful agony of an organization with no roster depth at the big league level, forcing a top prospect like Ozuna into a role that he more than likely isn't ready for. Sure, he's been having a great season for Double-A Jacksonville, but that does not necessarily mean that he's ready to handle big league pitching from day one. Ozuna has a history of striking out a ton in his professional career and those problems could be even further exposed if he's playing on a regular basis at the big league level. Much as is the case with Jose Fernandez, the risk of destroying a prospect's confidence when throwing them into a situation they may not be ready for is extremely high in cases like these.
Truth be told, any team suffering as many injuries as the Marlins have had to deal with to this point in the season would take a major toll, but the situation becomes especially dire with the current roster alignment. Now, however, not promoting a guy with major league experience like Gorkys Hernandez (currently in Triple-A New Orleans) in favor of Ozuna becomes a head-scratcher*. Maybe the organization truly believes the Ozuna is ready for the big leagues and would represent a better chance to win than a player like Hernandez, but it's also much more deflating to potentially watch a top prospect struggle with a major league promotion than that of an short-term stopgap, organizational player.
*Editor's note: Ozuna is currently on the 40-man roster, while Hernandez and Bryan Petersen are not. The reasoning behind Hernandez not being on the roster was due to a series of moves to fit Jose Fernandez and extra relievers and backup infielders into the 40-man roster. Why the Marlins put Ozuna on the 40-man roster to begin with is another puzzling question -MJ
Obviously, hindsight is 20/20 and I'm sure that no one in the organization could have foreseen so many injuries in the first month of the season but the bottom line is that the Miami Marlins are quickly becoming a crazy, trial-by-fire experiment of a baseball team that is well on their way to losing 100 games.
We can only hope that Giancarlo Stanton makes a full, speedy recovery but until then, Marlins fans should be advised to occupy their time by watching GIFs of Jose Fernandez strikeouts and surrounding themselves with cute puppies to help dull the pain of watching, reading, and consuming Marlins baseball.
The Miami Marlins in 2013 are a team perpetually walking under a ladder while crossing the path of a black cat. They are a team that has been the embodiment of Murphy's Law and simply can't seem to catch a break.