The Marlins’ decision to release Mike Cameron with 2 1/2 weeks left in the season seemed awfully odd, particularly with Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison banged up. But they obviously had their reasons. Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun Sentinel reports that the center fielder was let go for conduct detrimental to the team.
No word on what said conduct was. It certainly comes as a big surprise, as the 38-year-old Cameron has never been viewed as a problem player. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Cameron played in 45 games for the Marlins after being released by the Red Sox and hit .238/.331/.420 with six homers and 18 RBI in 143 at-bats. It’s not a great line, but the .751 OPS is actually slightly better than what NL center fielders (.747) and left fielders (.748) are putting up as a whole this season.
With Cameron gone and Morrison and Stanton both sidelined, the Marlins are using an outfield of Greg Dobbs, Bryan Petersen and Emilio Bonifacio tonight. It’s the fifth outfield start for Dobbs, who spent much of the first few months battling Bonifacio for playing time at third base.
Indians rookie outfielder Bradley Zimmer entered Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins hitless in the month of August. Having appeared in 13 games, he failed to get a hit in 39 trips to the plate. He knocked in just one run, scored twice, and drew five walks with 16 strikeouts.
It looked like the streak might continue, as Zimmer struck out twice, bunted into an out, and reached on a fielder’s choice in his first four at-bats. Fortunately, he got to face Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. Perkins hadn’t pitched in a major league game since April 10, 2016. Zimmer grounded a single to right field, ending his 0-for-August skid which had reached 43 plate appearances and 36 at-bats.
On the season, Zimmer is batting .245/.316/.400 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, 33 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 275 PA.
The Twins announced, prior to the start of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Indians (the first game of a double-header), that reliever Glen Perkins was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Perkins had been sidelined since April 2016, recovering from left labrum surgery.
From 2013-15, Perkins served as the Twins’ closer, recording 102 saves with a 3.08 ERA. He appeared in only two games last season before going down with the injury.
Perkins appeared in the ninth inning of the first game Thursday with the Twins trailing 7-3. It did not go well. He gave up two runs on two hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen before being lifted. Alan Busenitz came in and induced an inning-ending double play from Francisco Lindor.
The Twins will likely ease Perkins back by continuing to use him in lower-leverage situations. Perkins has a club option worth $6.5 million for 2018 with a $700,000 buyout. The Twins picking up that option likely hinges on how Perkins fares down the stretch.