PITTSBURGH -- Struggling rookie Jake Marisnick got his first day off since making his major-league debut July 23 in Colorado.
Marisnick, acquired in the multiplayer trade the Marlins made with the Blue Jays in November, has slumped at the plate throughout his short time in the majors, entering Thursday hitting only .192 with one home run and three RBI in 52 at-bats.
“I’m just trying to do too much with pitches instead of trying to put a good swing on the ball,” Marisnick said. “Mentally, I’m relaxed up there, but my swing is just getting a little long at times. I still have to fine-tune a few things and make sure I don’t chase bad pitches.”
While fellow rookie outfielder Christian Yelich — called up from the minors on the same day as Marisnick — made an immediate splash, Marisnick hasn’t had as easy a time getting comfortable against major-league pitching.
Yelich is hitting .318 and made his ninth consecutive start in the leadoff spot Thursday, hitting his first career home run in the fifth inning.
Marisnick went 0 for his first 14 until getting his first hit against the Pirates July 26. Marisnick hit .289 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in the minors this year.
“The way I’m being pitched isn’t too different than Double A, but you can put too much pressure on yourself [at this level],” Marisnick said. “Pitchers don’t give in as much. They’re trying to do something with every pitch. I just have to stand on an even keel and keep working.”
Marlins manager Mike Redmond has had a bit of a dilemma trying to juggle starts between veteran Jeff Mathis, 30, and Rob Brantly, 23.
“Rob is a guy that we need to keep getting in there and playing,” Redmond said. “My worry with Mathis is that we would wear him out by playing him too much. That’s a position we can’t afford any injuries.”
Mathis started Thursday and has worked well with a few of the Marlins’ young pitchers, including Jose Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi. Brantly has had his struggles with seven passed balls and only throwing out 29.5 percent of runners stealing compared with Mathis’ 42.9 percent.
Brantly started behind the plate in Wednesday’s loss, in which two wild pitches by Tom Koehler led to costly runs for the Pirates.
“Rob has had some games where everything has just snowballed,” Redmond said. “The thing we’re looking for is him to eliminate those games where one bad thing happens and then another and another. There are a few things he needs to work on like his game calling.
“A lot of it really just comes down to experience. He needs to go out there and keep playing.”
• Friday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (3-3, 2.68 ERA) at Atlanta Braves RHP Brandon Beachy (0-0, 9.00), 7:30 p.m., Turner Field.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 3.19) at Braves LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 3.20), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
• Scouting report: Turner is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against the Braves, winning a 6-2 decision at Marlins Park on July 10.