Marlins manager Don Mattingly said criticisms being directed at Derek Jeter have been “unfair,” but the team’s new CEO “might be the first to admit that [he] would do some things a little differently.”
“I know what goes on from the inside so I know it’s unfair,” Mattingly said. “I have more information than you all. I know the truth in a lot of these matters. I know what really happened in these situations.”
Jeter has come under attack for some initial missteps.
But Mattingly said Jeter is probably experiencing the same sort of growing pains as a front office executive as he did early on as a player. Jeter made 56 errors in his first minor league season in 1993.
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“I kind of look back at Derek’s first year in pro ball,” Mattingly said. “He makes 50 something errors at shortstop, and we know what happened after that.”
Mattingly said he expects some of the public outcry to quiet as time passes.
“He’s had a lot on his plate, a lot going on, a lot happening very fast,” Mattingly said of Jeter, who moved into his executive role after the team’s sale was finalized in early October.
Mattingly said he was “excited” with the many moves the Marlins have been making, including the recent trade of Giancarlo Stanton to the New York Yankees.
“You recognize the disappointment with the fans,” said Mattingly, who will be returning for his third season with the Marlins. “[But] we needed to reset. It wasn’t working. What we were trying to accomplish and the way we were trying to do it, it just wasn’t working. We had to get a model going that was sustainable.”
Mattingly said he wished Stanton well after the trade was finalized Monday.
“I told him New York is a great place to play,” he said. “You’re never, as a manager, even going to act like you’re going to be better, or we can fill that spot — a guy that hits 59 homers with 130 something RBI. But on the back side of that, you recognize it still didn’t work. And it wasn’t working. There needed to be a change.”
The Marlins released starting pitcher Edinson Volquez to create space on their 40-man roster. Volquez threw the only no-hitter in the majors last season but underwent Tommy John surgery in August and isn’t expected to pitch again until September, at the earliest.
The Marlins are still on the hook for Volquez’s 2018 salary of $13 million.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill said the Marlins would still like to re-sign Volquez to a minor league deal as he works his way back.
The move leaves two open spots on the team’s 40-man roster, which the Marlins could fill with selections in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft, or with players they acquire in the pending trade with the Cardinals for Marcell Ozuna.