On May 31, Justin Bour went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .369.
But it has been a straight downward slide ever since for the first baseman some were proclaiming as one of the greatest finds ever in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
Bour’s .121 batting average for June ranks as one of the lowest monthly figures ever for a Marlins player. Only Justin Ruggiano (.069 in July 2013), Gregg Zaun (.111 in June 1998) and Preston Wilson (.118 in June 2001) rank lower.
“I think it’s just the game of baseball,” Bour said. “It’s a very humbling game. I know how good of a hitter I am, and I know that I’m going to come out of this.”
While Bour’s June swoon leaves him in a precarious spot, his would-be replacement, Michael Morse, continues to struggle for results while on his rehab assignment at Triple A New Orleans. Morse, who remains on the disabled list with a finger injury, went 1 for 10 with six strikeouts in his first three games for the Zephyrs. Overall, Morse is hitting .222 while on rehab, which includes an early stint at Double A Jacksonville.
“We’re reaching that point, where he gets between that 30 and 40 at-bats, then I think timing-wise, rhythm-wise, you’ve got to feel like he should be ready to roll,” manager Dan Jennings said of Morse.
morris almost ready
morris almost ready
Reliever Bryan Morris is also nearing his return from the disabled list.
Jennings said Morris (back) will pitch Sunday for Single A Jupiter, after which the team will decide whether to activate him.
“He’s going to go on Sunday and get a multiple-inning outing in Jupiter, probably up to 30 pitches,” Jennings said. “Then we’ll be able to assess where he is and make sure that the quality of his strikes are where they need to be.”
▪ Jennings delivered a pep talk during a closed-door meeting with Marlins players on Friday.
“We had a little meeting just to regain our focus and re-emphasize to these guys that this is a talented team, and we have to go out to play to our ability,” he said. “It was internal, manager to player, hoping they recognize we believe in what they have ability-wise.”
▪ The Marlins have reportedly agreed to terms with first-round pick Josh Naylor and could make the signing official as early as Saturday.
The Toronto Sun reported that Naylor will receive a signing bonus of $2.25 million, which is below the slot value of about $3 million for the 12th overall pick.
▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (5-4, 3.76 ERA) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 3.33), 4:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (1-3, 4.34) vs. Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.70), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.