Turns out Marcell Ozuna is not headed to Jacksonville after all. The outfielder is instead headed to the 15-day disabled list with a left thumb ligament tear and avulsion fracture.
Ozuna is set to have surgery on the thumb on Friday and no timetable has been set yet for his return. The speedy outfielder will be placed on the MLB DL, so his Major League clock will not stop while he is on the DL. That most likely means the Marlins will not be able to avoid Ozuna claiming Super 2 status, which would allow him to become eligible for salary arbitration after the 2015 season.
If he returned to the minors, the Marlins would all but assure Ozuna not being eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season.
Ozuna was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville following Monday night’s victory over the Rockies, along with second baseman Derek Dietrich. They were replaced on the roster with top outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick.
Marcell intially got off to a hot start to begin his career, hitting over .330 in his first full month. He however had a difficult time adjusting to major league pitching as they started to figure him out. He owned a .217 wOBA in the month of July and was admist a 4-for-40 slump when the team decided he needed a bit more minor league seasoning.
Coming into the season, Ozuna had not played a single game above High-A, and after 10 games in Double-A, the Marlins promoted him when Giancarlo Stanton went down with a hamstring injury. With a crowded outfield, the team was hoping to keep Ozuna down in the minors until at least September, so he could get some seasoning as well as the team attempting to slow down his minor league clock.
The thumb injury, which he sustained on a diving catch in Colorado, will certainly put certainly put a damper on those plans, for now.
Larry Beinfest does not believe that Ozuna will return in 2013, to either the majors, or the minors:
“I don’t have a definitive time frame,” said Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations. “But it’s highly doubtful and improbable that you’ll see him again this season. It’s a minimum six to eight weeks, and then you have to ramp up from there. So we’re going to run out of time this season.”