Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna likely will miss the rest of the season after being placed on the major league disabled list with a left thumb injury Thursday, three days after the team optioned him to Double-A Jacksonville.
Instead of joining Jacksonville of the Southern League, Ozuna flew from Colorado to Miami to see a hand specialist. The diagnosis was a ligament tear and avulsion fracture. He was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to July 23, and scheduled to undergo surgery on Friday.
Ozuna suffered the injury in Monday night’s 3-1 win against the Rockies. He jammed his left thumb making a diving catch of a Michael Cuddyer drive in the sixth inning. He was put on the MLB disabled list because the injury happened in a big-league game.
“It’s a minimum 6-8 weeks, then you have to ramp up from there,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond told reporters before Thursday’s game in Colorado. “So, we’re going to run out of time this season.
“Just like any player, he’s going to have to come out and make the team next year. He did a great job. That’s how it goes. He makes a game-saving catch, gets hurt, and ends up on the DL. It’s really unfortunate. He did a great job and he needed this time to work on some things. It’s too bad all the way around.”
Ozuna, 22, joined the Marlins on April 30 to replace then-injured right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. The rookie from the Dominican Republic became a Miami bright spot by hitting .300 through his first two months. He took his fine defense and strong arm to center field when Stanton returned in early June.
But Ozuna struggled in July, batting .162. He had 3 homers and 32 RBI with a .265 average at the time of his demotion.
The Marlins optioned Ozuna and second baseman Derek Dietrich to Jacksonville after Monday night’s game to make room for top prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick.