Manager Mike Redmond wasn’t liking what he saw with his lineup. On Monday, he did something about it, making Marcell Ozuna his cleanup hitter and dropping Casey McGehee into the fifth spot.
“He’s driving in runs and getting big hits, and it seems like a perfect time to get our hottest hitter behind ‘G’ [Giancarlo Stanton],” Redmond said of Ozuna.
McGehee had been entrenched in the fourth spot, serving as the Marlins’ cleanup hitter in every game but two since April 23. But McGehee’s great success at driving in runs the first half of the season has disappeared in the second half.
Going into Monday’s series opener against the Angels, McGehee had driven in only two runs since July 27.
Ozuna, on the other hand, has been red hot, hitting .478 (11 for 23) with three homers over his previous seven games.
“When you’ve got a guy swinging the bat like ‘O,’ you try to get him in situations where he can drive in the most amount of runs,” Redmond said. “Maybe that’ll help ‘G’ get a few more pitches to hit.”
Redmond said the move might also help get McGehee back on track, too.
“Sometimes just moving a spot makes a difference, gets him going, and gets him back on track,” Redmond said.
With another off day coming up on Thursday, Redmond he’ll go with four starters until a fifth becomes necessary on Sept. 2. Whether that starter remains Brad Hand or becomes Brad Penny remains to be seen.
Hand struggled Sunday in Denver.
Both Hand and Penny will be available out of the bullpen the rest of the road trip.• Jeff Baker had a solid series at the plate in Denver. But it was another story entirely whenever he was required to put his body in motion.
Baker came out of two of his starts due to sinus issues that he believes were made even worse by the altitude. Baker, who went 4 for 10 with three doubles in the Rockies series, was taken out of Friday’s and Sunday’s games when the sinus pressure became unbearable.
“Anytime there is exertion, the heart rate goes up from running around and the pressure builds up,” Baker said. “The pressure around my right eye was so bad [Sunday] that I couldn’t see. It’s scary. It gets bad.”
After he doubled and scored in Sunday’s seventh inning, Baker was replaced at second by Donovan Solano in the Rockies’ seventh.
“Hopefully in Anaheim it’ll be good,” said Baker, who was in Monday’s starting lineup.
COMING UP• Tuesday : Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-8, 4.06 ERA) at Los Angeles Angels RHP Matt Shoemaker (12-4, 3.56), 10:05 p.m., Angel Stadium.
• Wednesday : Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (10-5, 2.57) at Angels LHP Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.38), 10:05 p.m., Angel Stadium.