SAN DIEGO -- As a rookie, Christian Yelich didn’t hit lefties. Now he’s going to town on them.
Yelich brought a .364 average against southpaws with him to the West Coast, a significant improvement over the .165 mark he finished with last season. He’s even hitting lefties better than right-hander (.245).
“I think I have almost as many hits [off left-handed pitchers] right now as I did all of last year,” Yelich said.
Just about. Yelich has gone 12 for 33 against lefties compared to 15 for 91 in 2013.
“I was aware it was something I needed to work on,” Yelich said. “I don’t really want to make excuses as to why I didn’t do it last year. But I never struggled with them like that before. At the big league level, they’ve got better stuff and lefty specialists. When you see guys come in from the bullpen who are paid to get lefties out, I’d never seen that before.”
Still, Yelich said he “wasn’t panicking about it.”
Marlins hitting coach Frank Menechino said Yelich is successful because he keeps it simple.
“He’s got a simple swing, a simple setup, and he has a good eye,” Menechino said.
The Marlins on Thursday announced their first Minor League monthly awards for the season:
• First baseman Viosergy Rosa, who hit .320 with three homers and 20 RBI in 26 games for Single A Jupiter, was named the organization’s player of the month. Rosa was a 29th-round draft pick in 2012 out of Odessa (Tx.) College.
• Right-hander Scott Lyman (2-1, 0.56 ERA in five starts for Jupiter) was pitcher of the month. Lyman was a 10th-round pick in the 2011 draft out of the University of California-Davis.
Matt Treanor, who spent five seasons with the Marlins after making his major league debut with them in 2004, has officially retired. Treanor last played in the majors in 2012 with the Dodgers. Treanor is married to Olympic beach volleyball star Misty May Treanor.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (4-1, 1.74) at Padres RHP Tyson Ross (3-3, 3.30), 10:10 p.m., Petco Park.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.78) at Padres LHP Eric Stults (1-3, 5.40), 8:40 p.m., Petco Park.