Marlins prez Larry Beinfest speaks up on LoMo demotion

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The Marlins demoted 23-year-old outfielder and outspoken tweeter Logan Morrison to Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday night, pointing to his recent offensive struggles as the reason for the move.

Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post later deduced that a series off-field issues also played a factor.

Morrison, a fan-favorite of a rare degree, had a mixup last week with the Florida Marlins Community Foundation involving the cancellation of a charity bowling event. The foundation didn’t buy enough bowling lanes at a local alley in advance, and LoMo was upset about having to disappoint excited fans.

Aiming to make a statement, Morrison then refused to show his face at a photo session with season ticket holders Saturday evening at Sun Life Stadium. The Marlins optioned him to the minors late Saturday night.

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Morrison told reporters he felt “freaking heart broken and disappointed” at hearing that he’d been sent down, and that he was just trying to stand up for “what’s right” with his protest of the photo opp.

Marlins president Larry Beinfest offered a sort of response Sunday afternoon to Capozzi, who shared the gist of the quotes in a block of tweets:

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Morrison has posted an ugly .200 batting average and .283 on-base percentage since the All-Star break. But he was beginning to show signs of life, flashing a .250/.341/.444 triple slash line across 41 plate appearances in the month of August. If the demotion was all about performance, the timing can be called odd.

This was about quieting the kid who has taken subtle jabs at teammates, and who fumed publicly at the firing of hitting coach John Mallee. Morrison has a likable personality. He’s given away hundreds of tickets through his Twitter account, and earned fans around the country — not just in south Florida. But he’s also a bit brash for a 23-year-old sophomore, and it sounds as though his outspokenness nicked an ego or two in Marlins’ front office. So Beinfest and Co. used his recent offensive slump as an excuse to send a message.

There’s no telling where this saga goes next. If Morrison isn’t the backing down type, it could get ugly.

He has the perfect venue, with nearly 60,000 Twitter followers, to make his thoughts known while experiencing the lesser quality of life on the Triple-A level. We’ll certainly be paying attention.

UPDATE, 5:01 PM: Morrison is considering filing a grievance against the Marlins.

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.

Ivan Nova finally issued his first walk. It was to an AL pitcher taking his first major league at-bat.

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Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.

That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.

Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.