Miami Marlins rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna has been out since late July due to a fracture and torn ligaments in his left thumb and he cannot wait to get back into the lineup, according to his manager Mike Redmond.
“Every time I show him the lineup card he reminds me that he’s not on that card. I say you will be, don’t worry,” Redmond said. “You know he wants to be out there, but unfortunately injuries happen. I know how hungry he is and I’m exicted for spring training to see these guys come in and really compete.”
It looks like Ozuna is trying his hardest to convince Redmond to get him into the Marlins lineup one last time, before the season ends. Ozuna was cleared to resume baseball activities and has done so in the past week. The team has not yet decided if they will permit the righty slugger to participate in Winter Ball after the season concludes this weekend.
The Marlins promoted the 23-year old Dominican in late April when Giancarlo Stanton went down with his hamstring injury. His first 28 games of his career forced the Marlins to keep him in the big leagues, even when Stanton returned, as he hit to the tune of a .330 average to begin his career, along with strong defense in right and center.
Ozuna then tailed off, going just 11 for his last 68, right before he sustained his thumb injury. The Marlins announced he was being sent back to Jacksonville in late July, but instead placed him on the disabled list and Ozuna soon went underwent surgery on his thumb.
For the season, Ozuna finished with a .265/.303/.389 slash line in 291 plate appearances. His 1.6 WAR still ranks second among the Marlins hitters in 2013.
Redmond believes that Ozuna is in good shape to compete for a starting spot with Jake Marisnick for a starting job next spring training:
“I think for him going into the offseason knowing he’s able to swing the bat is definitely a good sign. He can concentrate on preparing himself for spring training and to compete and win a job.”
With the news that the Marlins are looking to retain Giancarlo Stanton in 2014, the future of the Marlins outfield looks really bright.