Lewis Brinson may have caught a break when he least expected it. An injury to the Miami Marlins outfielder will sit him down for the next 10 days, potentially time enough to help the neophyte get his groove back at the plate
Just like everyone else who is a sports fan, I too second-guess managers, coaches, players, and organizations. It’s human nature to think your opinion is the right one, regardless of the fact these professionals make decisions well above my pay grade. When it comes to whether to sit a player down or let him work through their struggles, I will leave that up to those who know better.
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In this case, however, sitting Brinson, the centerpiece of the deal that sent Christian Yelich to the Milwaukee Brewers, could have been done weeks ago. Now, the Marlins must work without him as he deals with a inflammation in his right hip – an injury that has been bothering for some time.
Resting will help heal the physical injury, and could help change his mental focus on hitting.
Per MLB.com, Marlins manager Don Mattingly recalled that he noticed early signs of Brinson’s injury a little over one week ago and that it’s been ongoing ever since. Wary of further injury, a trip to the DL was the Marlins’ best option.
"“I kept noticing little gyrations in the box — you could tell that the hip was bothering him,” Mattingly said. “I think our biggest concern was change of gait, hamstrings, stuff like that. It just seems like, ‘Let’s get on top of this right now, let’s get it knocked out, so we can move forward.'”"
Brinson looked like he could be the next great outfielder to play in a Marlins uniform this Spring. There is no doubt his defensive skills in centerfield have been an asset this first half of the MLB season. His hitting, despite 10 home runs and 30 RBI, has been abysmal so far. A .186 batting average can only get you so far.
To Mattingly’s credit, he has not given up on the south Florida native. And once he returns to the active roster, it does not seem likely he will become a forgotten man then.
Giancarlo Stanton suffered through a poor first half of the 2016 season before he was able to swing the bat better. The same has been said for many other MLB stars. At 24-years-old, there is still plenty of baseball ahead of him in his career. Now, however, would be a good time to focus on more concentration at the plate and patience during this tough time.
Brinson said he noticed the pain in his hip getting worse, but he did not want to take time off to deal with it. He played in all 16 innings of a Saturday night tilt with the Tampa Bay Rays. That was the deciding factor in the team making the move to shelve him for the next 10 days.
"“It takes a lot to get me to stop playing, especially when I feel I can contribute and have been for the past couple weeks,” Brinson said. “I got tight hips, I call them fast-guy problems.”"
Whatever the issue is, time off to rest, relax and focus could be just what Brinson needs to have an improved second half of the 2018 MLB season.