May 3, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano (17) celebrates hitting a home run with third base coach Joe Espada during the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
It was recently reported that the Marlin’s opening day second baseman Donovan Solano was activated from the 15 day DL. This is great news, I can’t believe that its gone so under the radar. It must have been smothered by the return of Giancarlo Stanton, but its great that we got a consistent hitter back into the lineup.
So when I go over to watch Monday’s game against the Brewers, I look at the Marlins lineup card and see that Solano is not there. Stanton is there, Morrison is there, even Polanco is there. Concerned that maybe my source was incorrect I look for what happened to Solano.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported that Donovan Solano was reinstated from the 15 day DL but he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
One of the most consistent hitters on our team was optioned to the minors, so we could start Placido Polanco at third base. Placido Polanco is not exactly the best hitter anymore and while his defense is solid, it doesn’t mean that he should be allowed to continue hitting into double plays. Against the Brewers, he hit into his 8th double play of the season. Placido Polanco is a seventeen year veteran of baseball and he has done well in the past, but age is getting to him. Ed Lucas has been playing better than Polanco and he is a ten year veteran of the minor leagues.
Donovan Solano was such a versatile player, as well as a good contact hitter. In 2012, he played a variety of different positions, from second base, third base, and left field. While I agree that Dietrich has shown the potential of a good hitter in the majors, he is still very raw when it comes to bat discipline. I think it was a good move to keep Dietrich on the major league team, but sending Solano down, really stings. Solano could have played either second or third, or Dietrich could have played second or third. It doesn’t really matter, because both players play defense very well and they have enough pop on the bat to thrive in the majors. Polanco is at the end of the rope, in terms of hitting potential and it seems the best he can do is give a veteran presence in the locker room.
Although, I am missing one key fact.
He did sign a one year 2.75 million dollar contract, so it would be a pretty bad move to demote or release Polanco.
While looking at the 25 man roster for the Marlins, I noticed that Solano really had no spot left for him. Ed Lucas has earned his spot on the roster, Polanco is making millions, and Dietrich is young and contributing. The only spot where I saw there could be a change is with our three catchers. We currently have Miguel Olivo, Rob Brantly, and Jeff Mathis on the major league roster. Typically a Major league team only needs two catchers, but the Marlins have three, though the Marlins have good reason to keep these players. Rob Brantly is going through major growing pains while starting almost every day, but with the former catcher Mike Redmond teaching Brantly, I want the 23 year old to stay. Jeff Mathis is an absolutely awful offensive catcher as his average is in the .071 range and he is most deserving to be demoted. However he is the best defensive catcher on the roster and a good veteran influence for the young Miami starting pitchers, so he should stay. Miguel Olivo was a free agent acquisition in the wake of Mathis’s injury and while not playing often, he has given the team a good right handed bat off the bench. Solano unfortunately got hurt at the wrong time and it will take either another injury or trade to bring Solano back up from the Minors.
I feel bad that Solano was only contributing to the team while at the major league level and he is being rewarded by going down to Triple-A. However, I do expect that when the trade deadline comes up, Solano will be able to make his way back into the majors and continue with the solid hitting that this team desperately needs.