Following another 0-for-3 performance in Sunday’s loss to the Cubs, the Marlins optioned outfielder Marcell Ozuna to Triple-A New Orleans. Ozuna was mired in a dreadful slump, going hitless in five consecutive games and in nine of his last 10 games.
It’s still a surprising move as Ozuna was their starting center fielder and has a still-salvageable .249/.301/.337 triple-slash line with four home runs and 26 RBI. Plus, it isn’t as if the Marlins have an obvious candidate to push into the outfield in Ozuna’s absence. Fourth outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has hit worse than Ozuna.
Justin Bour has been swinging a hot bat and the struggling Marlins likely want to keep his bat in the lineup. Michael Morse was activated from the disabled list and may see time in left field rather than at first base going forward.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.