One day after Giancarlo Stanton questioned what he perceives as a lack of “fire” on the Marlins, the clubhouse was closed Saturday for a players-only pregame meeting to air out issues.
The Marlins’ lackluster 3-8 start, early in the season or not, was not sitting well with some on the team.
“If they felt like they needed to hash some things out, then I think it’s good,” said manager Mike Redmond of the 30-minute powwow that took place Saturday before batting practice.
Redmond and the coaching staff were not involved in the meeting.
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Following Friday night’s loss, Stanton was unusually pointed in his concerns.
“We’re not giving ourselves a chance, it feels like,” Stanton said. “We’ve got a positive vibe, but [something] is just not there. The fire is not there, it seems like.”
Stanton seemed to indicate the Marlins aren’t playing hard and focusing for all nine innings.
“The game is nine innings,” said Stanton, who homered in each of the first two games of the series against the Mets, both of which resulted in losses. “It’s not two, three [innings]. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fifth through the seventh or the seventh through the ninth. It’s not two innings. It’s nine. We’re not playing nine. There’s no campfire to sit around and reminisce on things. We’ve got to play every night.”
When players showed up Saturday, it wasn’t long before media members were ushered out and the doors were closed.
“I think it’s always good for players to talk amongst each other and motivate each other,” Redmond said. “It’s up to the players to go out there and motivate themselves. If they don’t like something that’s going on, they work that out among themselves. I think sometimes meetings like that can be productive, and hopefully it is for us.”
As for Stanton’s remarks, Redmond said: “I think he was just trying to make a point, trying to get guys to turn it up a notch. Any time you start losing games, stuff like that comes up.”
salty back in lineup
Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna returned to the lineup on Saturday night. But Redmond said he intended to go with J.T. Realmuto as his catcher in the series finale on Sunday.
“That was the plan,” Redmond said of the catching duties. “With a day game [Sunday], J.T. will catch. Salty is a big part of our ballclub, and we need him to go out there and play like we know he’s capable of playing.”
Realmuto, a rookie, had started each of the three previous games. Saltalamacchia brought an .091 average with 11 strikeouts in 22 at-bats into Saturday’s game.
Ozuna, who is also off to a slow start (.194 average), sat out Friday’s game only.
▪ The Marlins on Saturday claimed left-handed pitcher Matt Tracy off waivers from the New York Yankees and optioned him to Triple A New Orleans.
Tracy, a starter, made his major-league debut with the Yankees on April 11, going two innings in relief and allowing three earned runs. To make room for Tracy on the team’s 40-man roster, pitcher Jose Fernandez was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (1-1, 3.18 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Matt Harvey (2-0, 2.25), 1:10p.m., Citi Field.
▪ Monday: Off day.