Derek Dietrich is enjoying his best months as a Marlin.
The Marlins are likely to receive trade interest in Dietrich given his hot bat, his versatility in playing a number of positions, and the fact he has only one more season remaining before he becomes eligible for free agency.
“I feel like every time the deadline has come up the last few years, my name’s popped into it,” Dietrich said. “But I like Miami. I’ve always played my butt off here. This is where I made my debut in the major leagues, and I’m going to play as hard as I can for this organization for as long as I can.”
With a June that ranks as one of the best in Marlins history, Dietrich has positioned himself as a potential trade target. Dietrich has hit .385 with five home runs this month, raising his season average to .301, second only to J.T. Realmuto’s .308 average.
Dietrich’s OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.077 for the month ranks as the fifth-best June in Marlins history among players with at least 80 plate appearances. Only Giancarlo Stanton (1.204 in 2015), Chris Coghlan (1.105 in ’10), Derrek Lee (1.103 in ’02) and Jeff Conine (1.092 in 1991) had better June’s in terms of OPS.
Manager Don Mattingly said Dietrich has become a better hitter because he’s stopped changing his hitting mechanics.
“He was a tinkerer,” Mattingly said. “I did it myself. It’s always a different idea. It changes all the time. One day you want to hit with a big leg kick. Then it’s a toe tap. And then it’s no stride. And then it’s open and it’s closed.”
But sometime in the middle of last season, Mattingly said Dietrich started sticking to the same mechanics, and he’s improved as a result.
“The skipper is right,” Dietrich said. “I don’t plan on changing anything.”
Except, perhaps, uniforms.
Dietrich isn’t oblivious to what teams are searching for.
“Teams are looking for guys that can slug, and drive the ball, and get on base,” said Dietrich, who does all three.
Dietrich has been with the Marlins longer than any other current player, making his debut with them in 2013. But he might now be around much longer depending on how the trade deadline unfolds.
One major-league scout said the Marlins might be better off waiting for the winter offseason to trade Dietrich when the market is larger and the Marlins could demand a greater return.
THIS AND THAT
Mattingly served his one-game suspension Tuesday. Bench coach Tim Wallach managed Tuesday’s game in his place.
The league levied the suspensions after Straily hit the Giants’ Buster Posey with a pitch after both teams had been warned after Dereck Rodriguez’s plunking of Lewis Brinson the inning before.
Both Straily and Mattingly were ejected immediately after Posey was hit.
But indications are it could be a few days after that so that the Marlins can make sure his ailing right shoulder is healthy.
Ureña, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list due to tightness in his pitching shoulder, threw Tuesday for the first time and said his arm felt good. He will throw a bullpen session on Friday. But Mattingly said the Marlins might have him throw one more to be safe.
Smith said he wants to be ready for the start of spring training. With both Smith and Ureña on the DL and Straily serving his suspension, the Marlins will need to come up with starting pitcher replacements on Friday and Saturday.