Gillespie stays red hot against familiar foe
Outfielder extends hitting streak in loss to Brewers, the club that drafted him
MILWAUKEE -- Cole Gillespie was selected by the Brewers in the third round of the 2006 MLB Draft. Over the past two games, the outfielder displayed why the club selected him that high -- while in a Marlins uniform.
Gillespie came through for the second straight day for the Marlins, despite the team dropping the series finale against Milwaukee on Wednesday, 8-7. After not starting in the first game of the series, Gillespie collected four hits over the next two, including two on Wednesday. All in all, he drove in four of the 15 runs Miami scored with him in the starting lineup.
"It's finally nice to play in this park," Gillespie said of his first games at Miller Park. "Any time you get to go up against old teams, old opponents, you want to put on a good performance."
Gillespie has been repeating performances like Wednesday's for the past month. With the hits against the Brewers, he extended his hitting streak to 10 games and is batting .450 during the run.
Manager Dan Jennings mentioned before the series started that Gillespie has earned the playing time, as Jennings is currently operating with four outfielders that all have a case to start. Gillespie's playing time has fluctuated, splitting time with Marcell Ozuna in center field for the most part, but occasionally receiving spot starts in right field, which was the case on Wednesday.
However, it's difficult to ignore the recent tear Gillespie is on, and more frequent at-bats could be in his future.
"His at-bats have been outstanding," Jennings said. "He's using all fields and that's who he is. The thing that makes him such a complete player is that he uses line to line to swing the bat. That's what has been [the cause of] his success."
Finally getting the chance to play at Miller Park, albeit against the team that drafted him, couldn't escape the back of Gillespie's mind, he admitted. The Brewers' third-base coach, Ed Sedar, was his Rookie level coach his first season with the organization. The two shared a moment when the Marlins got to town on Monday.
"I was talking to Eddy Sedar, I told him, 'I've been to [Miller Park] two times: one was to sign and the other was to have surgery,'" Gillespie said.
As for the hitting streak, Gillespie is taking the humble approach. The 31-year-old, now with his sixth organization, just hopes it can continue.
"A couple of balls during this hitting streak -- if that's what you want to call it -- haven't exactly been hit hard," he said, "but they've found holes and that's kind of what it is."