NEW YORK -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly has been patient when it comes to center fielder Lewis Brinson, even though the 24-year-old was 26-for-159 (.164) with a .208 on-base percentage entering Tuesday's action against the Mets.
In order to be consistent at the plate, according to Mattingly, Brinson must be in good position to hit the baseball. He managed to do just that against the Braves on Sunday, when he went 2-for-5 and hit his first career grand slam.
"Early in the year, it seem like he was not really getting himself in good position and falling back," Mattingly said. "We still see it at times, but the last three or four days, I feel we are starting to see an improvement in that [area]. That's probably the main thing.
"Once we can get a grip on that, we will continue to talk about approach -- what he wants to swing at and helping him understand exactly who he is and what pitches he wants to handle when he hunts the ball, things like that. That's down the road. The main thing is to get him in good position to hit and transfer the weight where he sees the ball better."
Mattingly doesn't have any complaints when it comes to Brinson playing the outfield. The skipper went so far as to say Brinson has been "outstanding" on defense.
"He has basically [caught] everything. He has a big arm," Mattingly said. "He is another guy who can control runners going from first to third. He has done a tremendous job in center."
Rule 5 Draft pick Brett Graves is scheduled to threw four innings in a rehab start for Class A Advanced Jupiter on Tuesday. Graves has yet to pitch in the big leagues this year because of a left oblique strain.