Marlins Rumors: Derek Dietrich an Option at First Base?
The Miami Marlins were not pleased with the production they got out first or second base position in 2014. For that reason, the club is looking at different ways to improve on that next season. The team already acquired Kike Hernandez at the trade deadline and he could be the team’s solution at second.
For first base, the rumblings have already been out there that Christian Yelich could be moved to first and that Garrett Jones is on the trade market. One name that has always been an intriguing fit at first base for the Fish has been the forgotten Derek Dietrich.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Miami Marlins are giving the second baseman reps at first and in the outfield during their instructional league, to see if he could handle a role at first base in the coming season.
"3) Derek Dietrich — 2B to 1B or OF: Dietrich was Miami’s Opening Day second baseman, and he saw action in 44 games at the position. But he had his problems in the field, making 10 errors. He also appeared in one game at third base and had an error there as well.A left-handed hitter with power, Dietrich remains an intriguing offensive player. Over the last two seasons, he has 14 big league homers in 106 career games. He’s also dealt with injuries, missing substantial time this year with a strained right wrist. He finished the season at Triple-A New Orleans.Because of his defensive issues, and the fact Donovan Solano and Enrique Hernandez are on the roster, Dietrich’s future with the Marlins may be at another position. In September, he took steps to increase his versatility by participating in Miami’s instructional league, getting work at first base and left field."
Dietrich possess one of the better bats in the Marlins system. Last season, the left handed slugger hit 5 home runs and posted a .322 wOBA in 183 plate appearances in the majors last season. The Marlins demoted Dietrich due to his struggling defense and the team never had the same offensive production from the position the rest of the season.
With his struggles on defense well noted, a position change has always seemed to be destined for Dietrich. The though was he could potentially move to third base, but apparently the Marlins would prefer him in the outfield or at first base. His best shot at playing time would obviously be at first base, where the Marlins are lacking strong options.