Derek Dietrich did not earn a roster spot out of spring training but the infielder did not get discouraged. Dietrich was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday and could prove to be a valuable addition to the Marlins' bench moving forward.
Miami acquired Dee Gordon during the offseason and as a result, Dietrich was unable to compete for a starting job at second base. He opened the 2014 campaign as the Marlins' starting second baseman but was demoted in the beginning of June in order to work on his defense. Defense has plagued Dietrich in his brief major league career but the Marlins may opt to use him as a utility infielder since he will not receive consistent starting time.
After optioning Kendry Flores, the Marlins wanted to add power to thier bench and Dietrich has proven he can supply power on a consistent basis. In 56 games with Triple-A, Dietrich posted a .260/.357/.458 batting line to complement seven home runs and 27 RBIs. He posted nine home runs in 57 games with the Marlins in 2013 and hit five in 49 contests before being demoted last season.
Dietrich, 25, gave the Marlins a 2-1 lead that was never lost with a home run in the seventh inning against the Yankees on Monday night. His left-handed bat is notable because Justin Bour, who at times has been called upon to pinch hit, has become the starter at first base with Michael Morse on the disabled list. Miami's bench is short with Martin Prado out with a shoulder injury and the Marlins do not have a left-handed heavy lineup. Dietrich could make several spot starts and may see time at third base and in the outfield if he begins to produce on a nightly basis.
When the Marlins acquired Dietrich, the organization likely felt he would become a starting infield option. Although Dietrich initially struggled before recently being promoted, he could still prove to be a valuable starting piece. Dietrich provides power off the bench and may help the Marlins as they attempt to gain ground in the National League East.