Christian Yelich received the much-anticipated call to Miami on Monday night, and he’ll be bringing a friend.
Following Miami’s 3-1 win at Colorado, the Marlins announced they had optioned second baseman Derek Dietrich and center fielder Marcell Ozuna to Double-A Jacksonville of the Southern League. The team said it would select outfielders Yelich and Jake Marisnick from Jacksonville on Tuesday.
While the demotions were unexpected, the promotions were only a surprise in timing.
Considered the top prospect in the organization, Yelich, 21, was sidelined twice this season (heel, abdominal injuries) before returning several weeks ago. He hit .280 with seven home runs and 29 RBI at Jacksonville and played in the Futures Game last Sunday as part of MLB All-Star festivities.
In spring training with Miami, Yelich hit .364 with five home runs and 14 RBI.
Marisnick, 22, was acquired in the 12-player offseason trade with Toronto. He suffered a fractured hand in spring training but returned to earn a starting spot in the Southern League All-Star Game.
He was hitting .295 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI for Jacksonville and hit two grand slams in a May 30 game.
Yelich (left field) and Marisnick (center field) are expected to be everyday players after they arrive.
“We’re bringing up some high-end talent that we’ll get a chance to look at,” Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said in Colorado.
Yelich and Marisnick could help an offense that went scoreless during a three-game weekend series at Milwaukee to start the second half.
Ozuna, 22, and Dietrich, 24, showed promise this season, but both had been struggling.
Ozuna went 2 for 3 Monday night to raise his average to .265, but he’s hitting .191 in July. He showed a strong arm and played well in center.
Dietrich played good defense and had nine home runs and 23 RBI but was hitting .214.
“Those kids did an incredible job. We rushed them to the big leagues out of need,” Beinfest said. “They had very little to no Double-A experience and they did a great job for us.”