MIAMI — The Miami Marlins optioned second baseman Derek Dietrich to Triple-A New Orleans following Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
There will be a corresponding roster move prior to Wednesday’s game in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Dietrich was batting .246 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 41 games.
Ed Lucas started the past two games at second for Dietrich, who failed to turn a double play during the third inning of Sunday’s 4-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Though he got the force out at second, his throw was off and allowed the tying run to score. It was not ruled an error.
In 36 games at second, the 24-year-old committed seven errors — tied for most in the majors at the position with New York Mets’ Daniel Murphy and Atlanta’s Dan Uggla. He also had a miscue at third.
Last season, Dietrich made just two errors for a .992 fielding percentage over 57 games upon his initial call-up from Double-A Jacksonville.
During spring training, Dietrich was hit in the face by a bad hop off the bat of St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay. He had to wear a protective mask for 10 days.
With expected starter Rafael Furcal out with a left hamstring injury, Dietrich made the Opening Day roster.
”We’re just in a situation where we want to make sure he plays,” manager Mike Redmond said. ”There’s some defensive things we want him to work out. It doesn’t do him any good — he needs to play. That’s the most important thing.
”He’s still a young guy. We love what he can do. He just needs to be a little more consistent. I think he understands that. We know he’ll go down there and work hard not just on the defense but all aspects of his game. This guy’s a big-leaguer. It’s all about consistency in the big leagues, but I know he’ll go down there and do what we needs to do to get back here.”