The Miami Marlins have been aggressive in promoting their young players to get Major League playing time in 2013. Whether it was due to injury necessity or poor play, the Fish were quick to pull the trigger on bringing up prospects Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich to the majors earlier this season.
The Fish apparently are just as quick to send them back in favor of fresher faces. The Marlins have announced that they have promoted top outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick to the majors while demoting Ozuna and Dietrich, according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com and other sources.
The move was speculated here in the comments earlier today. Witness the prescience of Fish Stripes regular rsanchez1:
You have to wonder, if the Fish continue being so bad at hitting, will it be reason to demote one of our young guys? Ozuna or Dietrich? The Marlins have Solano up now, and he could slot in and replace Dietrich. The Marlins will have Yellich waiting in the wings soon, and could decide the outfield issue by sending Ozuna back down to get some more work in.
Given the struggles of the two players demoted, things cannot be that surprising. Prior to tonight's game, Ozuna was hitting just .138/.188/.246 (.194 wOBA) this month, while Dietrich was sporting a .204/.259/.389 (.277 wOBS) mark. Neither player was playing all that well, so it makes sense for the Fish to look for a change.
Yelich and Marisnick have been having star seasons in Double-A Jacksonville. When healthy, Yelich was hitting .277/.364/.518 (.395 wOBA), though there were questions about his newfound strikeout increase. Marisnick was still displaying raw plate discipline, but he was also hitting .295/.357/.504 (.390 wOBA). Both players were hitting well enough to earn a look in the big leagues.
Some might view these moves as premature, but the Marlins are both desperate for offensive production and have little to lose in promoting either player. The service time clock argument this late in the season is null and void, making this a pure half-season evaluation time period for two of the most important and exciting young prospects in the Marlins' system.
Stay tuned here at Fish Stripes for all of your coverage of tonight's breaking story. Check out the site tomorrow morning for more analysis and reaction from all angles!