Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Bour getting crash course in facing lefties

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

JUPITER, Fla. -- Justin Bour has shown enough pop against right-handers that the Marlins plan on giving the left-handed hitting first baseman chances off lefties.

The front office is so committed to the concept that they didn't seriously pursue signing an established right-handed hitting first baseman in the offseason. Instead, they are counting on Bour to make a majority of the starts, with catcher J.T. Realmuto occasionally filling in at first.

View Full Game Coverage

JUPITER, Fla. -- Justin Bour has shown enough pop against right-handers that the Marlins plan on giving the left-handed hitting first baseman chances off lefties.

The front office is so committed to the concept that they didn't seriously pursue signing an established right-handed hitting first baseman in the offseason. Instead, they are counting on Bour to make a majority of the starts, with catcher J.T. Realmuto occasionally filling in at first.

View Full Game Coverage

This isn't the first time Bour has heard he could see more action against southpaws. Last offseason there were similar conversations, and then Miami signed Chris Johnson as a right-handed hitting option.

In 2016, Bour had just 30 plate appearances against southpaws, batting .233 with two RBIs. And in his career, he has 110 plate appearances against left-handers, and 13 RBIs.

"We just have to see how it plays out," Bour said. "You can say stuff, but it's on the player to do stuff, and prepare, and make sure they get their work done, and be ready for those opportunities that are given to you because they don't come very often in this game. You just have to make the most of it."

In Spring Training, the Marlins immediately gave Bour some looks off a lefty in the first few days of batting practice. Scott Budner, the pitching coach at Triple-A New Orleans, is a left-hander who threw batting practice to Bour's group.

"He's doing what he wants to do right now," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's seeing a lot of pitches. We're making sure we're forming a game plan for those guys, and figuring out what he wants to do with each one of them. They're all a little different. Some guy leaves the ball in a lot more. Some guy gets the ball away from you. That's different at-bats. We're getting him a lot of left-handed BP."

But in Grapefruit League games, Bour has had just eight at-bats against lefties, with one hit and three strikeouts.

"It's good, obviously, to see different stuff during BP with lefties and righties, mixing it in," Bour said. "I made a pretty concerted effort from this offseason about having an approach, and making sure I'm ready to play every game. I don't want to be somebody who is just hitting against righties or coming out early in games. I feel like I'm so much better than that. I know that if I get the opportunity, and get the at-bats, that I'm going to put up the numbers. It's just a matter of getting it. Nothing in this game is given to you. You've got to earn everything you get."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Justin Bour