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Brinson turns 24, learning on the fly in Majors

Marlins giving center fielder chance to work through challenges
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

CHICAGO -- Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson turned 24 on Tuesday, and the rookie remains upbeat about his maturation process.

Brinson is off to a slow start, hitting .164 through 32 games, but the Marlins are committed to giving him every opportunity to succeed. He was given a breather on Monday, in the first game of the series with the Cubs, but he was back in the lineup on Tuesday night.

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CHICAGO -- Marlins center fielder Lewis Brinson turned 24 on Tuesday, and the rookie remains upbeat about his maturation process.

Brinson is off to a slow start, hitting .164 through 32 games, but the Marlins are committed to giving him every opportunity to succeed. He was given a breather on Monday, in the first game of the series with the Cubs, but he was back in the lineup on Tuesday night.

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"The one thing I've noticed is his demeanor doesn't really change," manager Don Mattingly said. "That's been a good thing. If you just look at him today, and you looked at him in Spring Training, he looks the same. The demeanor doesn't really change."

Brinson enjoyed a strong Spring Training, earning an Opening Day roster spot. Even though he's had his struggles, Brinson is refining his swing, like on Tuesday, taking early batting practice at Wrigley Field before game two of the series with the Cubs.

"I want to contribute a little bit more to us winning," Brinson said. "Get on base, create havoc on the basepaths, and keep playing defense like I'm doing."

Video: PHI@MIA: Brinson makes a leaping catch at the wall

Acquired from the Brewers in the Christian Yelich trade, Brinson is a core piece in the Marlins' future.

After hitting .331 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs in 76 games at Triple-A last year, the Marlins are staying patient with their speedy center fielder. The organization feels Brinson has shown he can perform at Triple-A, and are allowing him to scratch through at the big league level.

"He continues to work on things, and hopefully he gets more consistent," Mattingly said. "I think his at-bats in general, over the last probably two weeks, have been more consistent. Just the way he battles and his takes are getting more competitive. You hope that continues."

Positive by nature, Brinson is confident his season will eventually turn around.

"There's good things ahead," he said. "I'm in a good place. I'm starting to have better at-bats. I'm being more consistent. Obviously, the numbers aren't where I want them to be.

Tweet from @Marlins: Happy Birthday, Lewis! 🎁🎉 pic.twitter.com/GYSQCEdjMf

Worth noting
• As an organization, the Marlins made a contribution to the family of Ruben Romero, a former Minor League strength and conditioning coach who passed away in December. Romero was with the organization's Dominican Summer League team last year. On behalf the players, staff and organization, Marlins CEO Derek Jeter presented Romero's family with a $25,000 check.

• Third baseman Martin Prado was given Tuesday off, but the veteran is expected to start on Wednesday afternoon in the series finale at Wrigley Field. Catcher J.T. Realmuto is expected to be given a day out of the starting lineup Wednesday.

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

Miami Marlins, Lewis Brinson