Are the Marlins punishing Logan Morrison?

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The LoMo demotion continues to confound.

The Marlins’ front office isn’t saying much on the matter, and Logan Morrison kept his comments light on Twitter last evening. So we’re left only to wonder whether his demotion was performance-related or a punishment for an off-field incident.

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post seems to think it might have been a mixture of both.

Here’s a snippet of Capozzi’s Saturday evening article on the Marlins’ sudden and surprising decision to send the talented and productive 23-year-old outfielder back to Triple-A New Orleans. It seems to go beyond LoMo’s recent slump:

I might be able to clear up the “incident” LoMo referred to when he said he suspected his demotion was related to something off the field.

First, I was told by a person close to LoMo that the matter was not criminal related or even sordid.

Earlier in the day, he refused to participate in a photo session with season ticket holders at Sun Life Stadium. That might sound surprising, given Logan’s outgoing personality and popularity with fans, but apparently there were some hard feelings related to earlier promotional activities.

I know that this past Thursday — a Marlins off day — Logan canceled a charity bowling tournament in Miami because he said the Florida Marlins Community Foundation “dropped the ball” and didn’t sell enough lanes in advance.

Logan wasn’t happy about that. And there apparently were some other events in which players were supposed to participate. There was also an autograph signing earlier Saturday, which Logan participated in. But he put his foot down and did not participate in the photo session with season ticket holders.

Read the rest of Capozzi’s piece for more. It also has a full transcript of quotes from LoMo’s pow-wow with the media after learning that he had been sent to the minors. This story is obviously far from over.

Bartolo Colon ain’t doing so hot this year

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If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.

Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.

The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.

At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.