When the Miami Marlins signed Austin Kearns, the Earth sadly did not shatter. The news did not travel outside the fanbase of Miami, and to be honest, no one really cared. After the signing, I was quick to write a piece about the deal, claiming it was a “low risk, high reward” type deal. I am no fortune teller, but so far this is exactly what we are seeing.
Battling Chris Coghlan, Bryan Petersen, and Aaron Rowand for a spot on the bench, Kearns is doing his part to show the team he has what it takes. So far, Kearns is hitting .360 (9-25) with a team leading 3 home runs and has shown that he is improving in the outfield. Not only has Kearns caught the eye of many fans, he has started to make a good impression on the main man, Ozzie Guillen.
“I like what I see,” Guillen said. “We need a right-handed hitter off the bench. We need a right-handed hitter who can play the outfield. He’s been playing pretty good this spring”
Good words coming from the man who is responsible for your job. Another factor helping Kearns is the slow and dreadful performance so far by outfielder Aaron Rowand. Rowand has looked dead at the plate so far. Not something the veteran needs when he is battling everyday for a job in the big leagues. Showing great contact, a great ability to get on base, and great power, Kearns COULD be called the MVP through Spring Training in the clubhouse. Still, there is no room for error and zero time to slow down. Throughout the pressure, Kearns seems to remain calm.
“I just treat every day the same,” Kearns said. “I try to have some good at-bats and see what happens. You don’t drive yourself crazy, worrying about what the decision-makers do. Just play and see what happens.”
So far you have done your job Mr. Kearns. This man has sadly been through a lot during his career. Quite frankly, his career has been known has a big failure and he himself has been labeled as another underachiever. I am pulling for Kearns honestly and hope he will keep up his level of play to make the opening day roster. If so, do not expect anything close to what your seeing right now, but be happy for the man. He will being us a DECENT reserve outfield glove, good power and pop off the bench, and good experience in the clubhouse. A message to the front office regarding Austin Kearns: Good Call.