The story is still basically developing, but we’ll bring you the early talking points.
According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, talented and outspoken left fielder Logan Morrison was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans late Saturday evening, about 30 minutes after the Marlins’ 3-0 loss to the Giants.
The Marlins cited Morrison’s recent offensive slump as the reason for his sudden demotion, and he is batting just .226 with a .291 on-base percentage since the start of July, but LoMo told reporters after getting news of the roster move that he believes he is being punished for an off-field matter.
“Right now I just feel resentment and anger,” said Morrison.
When asked if he felt his candidness on Twitter had something to do with the move, he brushed that off.
“I think it’s something else but I don’t know if I want to say it right now,” said LoMo. “I don’t want to say much right now.”
Those quotes come courtesy of the Palm Beach Post‘s Joe Capozzi. There’s sure to be more fallout Sunday.
The Marlins also released Wes Helms on Saturday. Corresponding roster additions will be forthcoming.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.
Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.