Hoping to add a spark and find reliability at second base, the Marlins called up 26-year-old Jordany Valdespin and had him hit second in the lineup Saturday night against the Giants.
“Our offense has been slow and sluggish, so we are looking for a guy that can hit at the top of the order … and get us going a little bit,” manager Mike Redmond said before Saturday’s game.
Valdespin was hitting .277 for Triple A New Orleans this year and had a .288 average so far in July. He made 160 major-league appearances with the Mets over the course of 2012 and 2013, hitting .219.
Valdespin also comes to Miami with some off-the-field baggage.
He was suspended for 50 games last August as part of Major League Baseball’s Biogenesis investigation. Valdespin had previously run into trouble with the New York organization for starting an altercation by showboating after a home run, making a clubhouse scene after being demoted to the minors and failing to run out ground balls.
“He’s a talented guy, and this is a great opportunity for him to get himself back in the big leagues,” Redmond said. “He has to prove himself and come out here and show the type of player that we’ve all seen glimpses of.”
Valdespin’s opportunity comes at the cost of demoting Justin Bour. The 26-year-old infielder had been used as a pinch-hitter but was hitless in his past nine plate appearances dating to June 24.
“Bour is not used to coming off the bench, and initially we thought he would be a guy to give us some power off the bench,” Redmond said. “But one thing you keep in mind when you bring in young guys from the minor leagues and put them in a role they are not used to doing, it is tough, and we saw that with him.”
The Marlins also announced Saturday that they were placing Rafael Furcal on the 60-day disabled list.
Penny on the way?
After Brad Penny, 36, logged a quality start for Triple A New Orleans on Friday, Redmond was asked about the possibility of calling up the veteran right-hander.
“At this point, we have not ruled anybody out,” he said. “We need quality starts.”
On Friday, Redmond announced that Jacob Turner would regain a spot in the rotation after going 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine starts earlier this season.
The Marlins have sent 10 starters to the mound this season. Miami’s weekend opponent, San Francisco, has used just six starters this year.
“We’ve tried a lot of different guys, and we’re hoping that the guys we have up here right now step up and take advantage of these starts,” Redmond said.
The Marlins inked 33 of their 42 selections from the 2014 draft by Friday’s signing deadline, including their top 22 picks as well as two undrafted free agents.
“You can call this draft a success in terms of just the amount of players we signed, with the top 20, but I think we also got some athletic players,” vice president of scouting Stan Meek said in a statement. “We got some athletic players up the middle that really addressed a need for us. Also, in addition to the second overall pick in Tyler Kolek, a big right-hander, we also got a good group of college left-handed pitchers that we feel add a lot of depth to the system.”
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