Derek Dietrich is headed back to Triple-A.
Miami's initial starting second baseman was reinstated from the disabled list on Tuesday and optioned to New Orleans. Dietrich's stay may be limited, though, since he is likely to be promoted when rosters expand on Monday.
The Marlins on Tuesday afternoon reinstated Derek Dietrich from the 15-day disabled list and optioned the second baseman to Triple-A New Orleans. The transaction puts Dietrich in position to be a callup when MLB rosters expand on Monday.
Miami's Opening Day second baseman, Dietrich last played in a big league game on July 1. He's been out since with a right wrist sprain.
Before going down, Dietrich posted a .228/.326/.386 batting line with 17 RBIs in 49 games. While he wasn't hitting consistently, Dietrich appeared to give the Marlins another power bat, although he hit just five home runs over that span.
In addition to an inconsistent bat, Dietrich's defensive struggles appeared to still be an issue. Miami sent him to Triple-A, where he has appeared in 14 games this season, to work on his defense, although he is thought to be an average second baseman.
Dietrich's presence added a left-handed bat to a predominantly right-handed lineup. With the exception of when his bat cooled off, Dietrich batted behind Christian Yelich and in front of Giancarlo Stanton.
Dietrich was optioned to New Orleans in the first half, and in 14 games for the Zephyrs, he batted .345 with seven home runs.
Before being reinstated, Dietrich appeared in five rehab assignment games with Class A Jupiter, going 5-for-16 with a home run and two RBIs.
Miami's lineup has changed significantly since Dietrich was placed on the disabled list. Jordany Valsepin, Donovan Solano, Ed Lucas, and Enrique Hernandez have all seen time at second base for the Marlins this season. Valdespin has become more of a utility player, and Solano has been productive when he has received playing time, posting a .294 on-base percentage.
The Marlins, lacking a clear second base option, will likely have several players compete for the starting second base job in 2015. Dietrich, Hernandez, and Solano should be among the candidates, but in the context of this season, adding Dietrich in September would give the Marlins another bat to protect Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup.
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