A six-pack of Marlins notes on a Wednesday:
▪ The pitchers acquired in this Marlins reset/replenishment of the farm system are somewhat ahead of the hitters.
Here's how the six hitters are doing:
Outfielder Lewis Brinson, the only one of the six in the majors, is hitting .186 with 10 homers and 30 RBI, showing flashes but having difficulty establishing consistency at the plate.
Outfielder Monte Harrison, acquired in the Christian Yelich trade, has hit .235 with 11 homers and 32 RBI at Double A Jacksonville.
Second baseman Isan Diaz, also acquired in that trade, has hit .232 with seven homers and 32 RBI — and stolen 10 bases in 13 attempts — at Jacksonville.
Infielder Jose Devers, acquired in the Giancarlo Stanton trade, has hit .274 with 19 RBI at Class A Greensboro. He's only 18.
Outfielder Magneuris Sierra, acquired in the Marcell Ozuna trade, has hit .265 with 16 RBI and is 14 for 19 in steals at Triple A New Orleans.
Infielder Chris Torres, acquired in the Dee Gordon deal, has played in just two games (at low-level Batavia) after being injured earlier in the season.
On the positive side, some offensive players who weren't acquired in offseason trades are thriving in the minors.
Outfielder Brian Miller (a former compensatory pick) continues his good work, hitting .324 with 35 RBI this season between Jupiter and Jacksonville. Cuban first baseman Lazaro Alonso continues to thrive, hitting .301 between Greensboro, North Carolina, and a recent promotion to Jupiter. And outfielder Austin Dean has hit well all season (.334, eight homers, 48 RBI, 26 for 34 in steals) at Jacksonville and New Orleans.
▪ Justin Bour, hitting a career-low .235 with 14 homers and 42 RBI, isn’t pleased with his season.
“I haven’t been as good as I would like. The numbers aren’t where I would like.”
But Bour already has a career high 60 walks and his .360 on-base average is above his career .349 mark.
But this much is clear: No one has been more affected by the offseason trades of Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, though he isn’t using that as an excuse.
Asked to explain Bour's drop in batting average from .289 last season to .235 this season, manager Don Mattingly said: “I can't really explain. I don't know if it's his position in the lineup with things around him. In the last couple years, you already had to go through Yelich, Stanton, Ozuna. You get there and think you get a breather and you don't really get one. Now he's probably a little bit of the focus of the other teams where he's probably the purest power hitters we have. He's walking more than he ever has. His on-base is high. The average has suffered but the on-base is high.”
▪ Have the Marlins abandoned thoughts of making Adam Conley a starter again amid his success as a reliever?
“I don't want to totally close the door on him starting,” Mattingly said. “But he's been so reliable in the pen. He gives us a different dimension out there versus righties or lefties. Another back-end piece. We’re pretty comfortable where he is right now. He shows he can handle it. Workload, he bounces back. He hasn't been sore. He is showing signs of being a really good reliever.”
The Marlins would want a considerable return if they deal Conley.
Brad Ziegler remains available, and the Braves and Angels are among teams that have scouted him. He was nearly traded to St. Louis last year, and the Cardinals (plus the Cubs and Cleveland) could be other suitors for him before the July 31 trade deadline. The Dodgers also have shown interest, per FanRag's Jon Heyman.
▪ The Marlins remain high on Pablo Lopez, who allowed five runs in his first two innings Tuesday but didn't allow a hit or walk in innings three through six. He was an A ball pitcher in the Seattle system when acquired in the David Phelps trade last July.
“You started hearing in the winter how much our guys liked him, in Jupiter, what kind of kid he was, how quick he was to learn things and pick things up,” Mattingly said.
“They were really impressed with him, and when we get our eyes on him in the spring, we see the same thing. This year, he's been going out, pretty much lights out. Showed the other day he's got the makings of a quality starter, guy who throws strikes, great makeup, aptitude. It seems like pretty quickly our guys were liking what they were seeing.”
▪ Garrett Cooper figures to get a lot of at-bats the rest of the season, in part so the Marlins know exactly what they have, even more so if they trade Bour. He’s a .306 career minor-league hitter and hit 18 homers last season at three minor-league levels.
He's 4 for 14 since returning from the disabled list.
“Curious is a good word,” Mattingly said. “We definitely want to find out what he can do. This is the type of year we want to find out who exactly he is. Is he a part of what we can do going forward and where does he fit? I'm looking forward to seeing him get at bats.”
▪ Brian Anderson, arguably the Marlins’ second-best position player this year, said he hasn’t been recognized a single time in public (outside the ballpark) all season, not even in his Miami apartment complex.
Anderson, who has proven to be a capable defender at third base and in right field, said this season has been eye-opening in terms of where he could play in the big leagues.
“I said I would have seen myself as a third baseman before the year, but now I feel my future could be at either spot. But I don’t have a preference.”