MIAMI -- The offseason was far from being four months of rest and relaxation for Marlins first baseman Justin Bour and center fielder Marcell Ozuna.The Marlins challenged both players to get in better shape, and it appears the sweat and sacrifices have paid off. According to team president of baseball
MIAMI -- The offseason was far from being four months of rest and relaxation for Marlins first baseman Justin Bour and center fielder Marcell Ozuna.
The Marlins challenged both players to get in better shape, and it appears the sweat and sacrifices have paid off. According to team president of baseball operations Michael Hill, Bour and Ozuna took their conditioning seriously, and they have both slimmed down for when full-squad workouts begin on Feb.23.
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Miami lists Bour as 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and Ozuna at 6-foot-1, 225 pounds.
But actually, at the end of the 2015 season, Bour's weight was said to be more than 290 pounds. He's since dropped more than 20 pounds. Ozuna, meanwhile, closed out last year in the 240-pound range, and his weight is now closer to 220.
"[Bour] literally worked his tail off this offseason," Hill said. "He's coming in leaner, lost inches off his waistline and lost weight, which I think in the long run will help him. We'll see if he will be an everyday guy."
Marlins pitchers and catchers will start Spring Training on Friday at the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla. They will be taking their physicals in the morning.
Position players will take their physicals the morning of Feb. 23, before the first full-squad workout.
Bour and Ozuna are already in South Florida, and they are continuing their conditioning routines. Bour, especially, was informed he was carrying too much weight last year.
"We challenged him. He was too big," Hill said. "There were guys playing on Sunday [in the NFL] who weighed less than he did. That can't happen in our sport. We challenged him, and he took it to heart. He made numerous trips back in the offseason, because we monitored it. He's been here full time since [Feb. 1]."
Bour, a left-handed hitter, belted 23 home runs and drove in 73 runs in 2015. If he struggles with left-handed pitching, veteran Chris Johnson was signed to be a platoon option at first.
Defensively, Miami felt Bour was too slow at first base. The advanced metrics reflected that, too; he had a UZR (ultimate zone rating) of -5.1. Bour also had a -7 DRS (defensive runs saved).
Ozuna reported to Spring Training heavy in 2015, and had a down year, batting .259 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs. In '14, he hit .269 with 23 homers and 85 RBIs.
Ozuna's performance in center field also declined. In 2014, he had a 3.3 UZR and 11 DRS. But last year, Ozuna's UZR was -1.5 and he had a -3 DRS.
"He wasn't the same guy in center field -- moving around," Hill said.
Part of Hill's excitement for Spring Training to start is the fact the Marlins are healthy, and from the looks of Bour and Ozuna, the players have taken their conditioning seriously.
"We're healthy and hungry," Hill said. "Hungry to win. Not to join me for dinner."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.