Marlins notebook

Miami Marlins rookie Marcell Ozuna has impressed

 

cspencer@miamiherald.com

If rookie right fielder Marcell Ozuna continues to prove he belongs in a major-league lineup, it could create an interesting decision for the Marlins once Giancarlo Stanton returns from the disabled list.

Will Stanton return to his old spot in right? Or will Ozuna remain there?

Most likely, Ozuna will be the one moved based on the fact he has experience at all three outfield positions. But Ozuna is making just as strong of an impression with his outfield play as he has at the plate in his first few games.

“He looks like he’s been out there a few years,” manager Mike Redmond said.

The 22-year-old Ozuna hit his first major-league home run Saturday and has now hit safely in each of his first four games while also handling his outfield duties with polished skill. No wonder he said his idol is Vladimir Guerrero, a top five-tool player in his prime.

“He’s my favorite player,” Ozuna said. “I’ve talked to him in the Dominican Republic and I told him, ‘You’re my idol. When I get to the big leagues, I want to be like you.’ My style is a little like him.”

Ozuna said he was mostly used in center field when he played winter ball in the Dominican.

“I’ve been overly impressed with the way he’s composed,” Redmond said. “He looks confident. He looks calm. He doesn’t look nervous at all.”

Kearns out

Reserve outfielder Austin Kearns returned home to Kentucky on Saturday because of a family matter. Redmond said Kearns will likely miss the next several games and be placed on the bereavement list Sunday. A player can remain on the bereavement list for a minimum of three games but no more than seven.

The Marlins would be allowed to use a player off their 40-man roster to take Kearns’ spot on the 25-man roster while he is away.

Subpar defense

Redmond said he is disappointed in the Marlins’ substandard defensive play so far. Entering play Saturday, the Marlins ranked 28th with a fielding percentage of .979.

Stanton has been charged with five errors, most of any outfielder, while Donovan Solano has six, most among second basemen.

“We’ve got to play better defense,” Redmond said. “Coming out of spring training, we thought that would be one of our strengths. It seems like we’re making errors and mistakes on routine plays. We don’t have the offense to overcome these mistakes, so we have to do better.”

Coming up

Sunday: Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (0-2, 2.15 ERA) at Philadelphia Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (2-3, 6.75), 2:35 p.m., Citizens Bank Park.

•  Monday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-4, 6.23) at San Diego Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (1-2, 4.24), 10:10 p.m., Petco Park.

•  Scouting report: Of the 15 starting pitchers with lower ERA’s than Slowey’s 2.15, two have exactly two wins so far while all the others have three or more. Slowey hasn’t notched a major-league win since 2010.

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