Miami Marlins

Marlins manager Mattingly talks Brewers tweets, Yelich trade and his team gaining respect

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder and reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich had just belted out a home run at Miller Park in the first inning against his former team on Thursday when the Brewers sent out a tweet from their official account.

“Hey @Marlins, this home run just reminded us that we never said how much we appreciate you for bringing Christian Yelich into our lives,” the tweet reads. “Thanks for the NL MVP. #ThisIsMyCrew”

A few hours later, after the Brewers defeated the Miami Marlins 5-1 to close out the three-game series, out came another tweet: “#Brewers win to send the last place Marlins packing! #VoteBrewers.”

While both factually true statements, both tweets leave out an important caveat: The Marlins took the series against the Brewers, winning the series opener on Tuesday 16-0 behind a franchise-record 11-run fifth inning and clinching it on Wednesday with an 8-3 win.

Two games, a 24-3 run differential before dropping the finale. It was the Marlins’ fifth series win out of their last six.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly on Saturday, when asked about the social media posts, called them “unprofessional” and said the true value of the trade can’t be evaluated just yet.

The Marlins traded Yelich to Milwaukee in January 2018 for four prospects: outfielders Lewis Brinson and Monte Harrison, second baseman Isan Diaz and right-handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto.

Yelich went on to become the NL MVP last season after setting career-best marks in batting average (.323), home runs (36), RBI (110) and runs scored (118) while helping the Brewers come one win away from reaching the World Series. Yelich is hitting .337 with 23 home runs and 52 RBI through 57 games this year.

Brinson, meanwhile, is the only player the Marlins received from the trade who has seen Major League action. He struggled as a rookie 2018, posting a .199 average. The Marlins optioned him to Triple-A New Orleans on April 30 after he opened the 2019 season hitting .197 with 28 strikeouts in 82 plate appearances.

But the Marlins are optimistic about the prospects’ potential as they progress through the minor-league system.

Harrison and Diaz, ranked as Miami’s Nos. 3 and 6 prospects according to MLBPipeline, figure to be regular contributors the Marlins’ major-league lineup as early as next season. Brinson is hitting .277 with six doubles, five home runs and 25 RBI in New Orleans. Yamamoto, the Marlins’ No. 17 overall prospect, has given up no more than three earned runs over each of his last seven starts for Double A Jacksonville, with 39 strikeouts against 11 walks over 40 1/3 innings.

Mattingly’s full comments from pregame Saturday are below:

“Yeah. I heard about it. It seemed kind of unprofessional to me, but I heard it. The game’s played on the field. Whoever’s doing the Twitter accounts, I’m not sure who they are, but I guess that’s a whole new world for me, the stuff on Twitter. I don’t know. I saw it. I heard about it. It seemed pretty petty, but that trade, you never know in three years what that trade looks like. That’s one of those things. We knew what we were giving up when we made that trade. It’s not like, there’s no re-found magic. The ball flies out in Milwaukee. You hit 21 homers here. He played here the year he hit 21. If [Marlins Park] was that ballpark, he would probably hit 40, so it wasn’t like we were getting tricked. We knew what we were doing. We’ll see in a couple years.”

On if the team, despite its record, is gaining respect if a team is taking jabs like that: “Yeah. I didn’t think of it like that. Yeah. I guess that’s nice, right, that we’re playing better. That somebody has to at least think about us. It’s really been a situation here. The first year [of the Bruce Sherman-Derek Jeter ownership], [there were] a lot of free shots. Then, there has been the pile on from the people who don’t do their homework of what’s going on. The free shots keep going, but they’re not really watching and seeing what’s going on with the organization. At some point, it’ll turn, but you have to do that on the field. It’s not going to turn by talking about it or asking about it. You have to turn it on the field, and I guess we did that a little bit to a small degree right now.”

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.