Marlins manager calls Peter O’Brien move one of toughest in spring training
The Miami Marlins, looking for more offensive production, are digging into their minor-league system for help.
And they’re shaking up their outfield once again in the process.
The Marlins recalled Austin Dean from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday ahead of their three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies that begins a nine-game homestand. Outfielder Peter O’Brien, the hard-hitting Hialeah native who has struggled at the plate early this year, was optioned to the Baby Cakes as a result.
Dean, the Marlins’ No. 26 overall prospect according to MLBPipeline, will be the Marlins’ third starting right fielder in the first 14 games of the season.
The 25-year-old and 2018 Marlins minor-league player of the year makes his return to the big leagues after opening the season hitting .375 with a pair of doubles and six RBI in seven games at the Triple A level. Dean was a September call-up in 2018 and hit .221 with four home runs, 14 RBI and 16 runs scored in that span. He batted .326 with nine home runs and 54 RBI over 87 games in Triple-A before playing the last month in Miami.
“Last year, it seemed like he turned the corner as far as hitting with the year he had,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He backed it up with a good spring (.364 batting average, 7 RBI in 33 at-bats).”
O’Brien, who was called up on March 31 after Garrett Cooper went on the Injured List with a right calf strain, went 3 for 27 (.111 batting average) with 14 strikeouts over nine games.
“I think there are still opportunities for Pete,” Mattingly said.
The move comes a day after the Marlins were swept by the Cincinnati Reds in a three-game road series. Miami plated just one run and struck out 36 times in those three games. Heading into Friday, the Marlins rank 29th out of 30 teams in runs scored (34) and 23rd in team batting average (.215).