Marlins recall Ozuna, place Yelich on DL
ST. LOUIS -- Marcell Ozuna's extended stay at Triple-A New Orleans is finally over, and Christian Yelich's stint on the disabled list is about to begin.
The Marlins on Saturday recalled Ozuna, who was optioned to the Minors on July 5, and placed Yelich on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Aug. 10, with a right knee contusion.
In an injury-plagued season, the Marlins are hopeful to eventually get the roster healthy to better identify how the club may shape up for next year.
"It would certainly be great to get the band back together and let's see how they play for a while," manager Dan Jennings said. "They're progressing the right way to come back. Hopefully Yelly is just going to be the 15 days and he will come back ready to go."
The 24-year-old Ozuna had a productive stint at New Orleans, where he appeared in 33 games and batted .317 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 120 at-bats.
Miami is seeking some power production. Since the All-Star break, the club has 11 homers, and just four in the month of August.
Ozuna hit 23 homers in 2014, but he was mired in a 1-for-36 slump before being sent down July 5. Ozuna had been on pace to qualify as a Super Two arbitration candidate for 2016, but after the lengthy Minors stint, it now appears he will not be eligible for arbitration until '17, and free agency after the '19 season.
"They told me I was going down for work, to get your feeling back, and then come back," Ozuna said. "It's business."
A week ago in New Orleans, Ozuna received a scare when he jammed his left wrist sliding into second base. Initially he feared the injury could be serious, but he only missed a few days.
"They sent me to the hospital to get an MRI," Ozuna said. "I thought it was going to be worse. Nothing wrong. Needed a couple of days."
Ozuna's arrival also comes at a time when Miami's outfield is dealing with injuries. Yelich bruised his right knee last Sunday at Atlanta. He's been dealing with swelling in the knee. If the knee doesn't respond in another couple of days, Yelich likely will return to Miami and get an MRI.
Yelich is batting .275 with six homers and 29 RBIs. In his past 30 games, he's hit .310 with a .365 on-base percentage.
It's been a disappointing season for the Marlins, and also a frustrating one for Ozuna.
Before being demoted to New Orleans, the outfielder posted a slash line of .249/.301/.337. Ozuna has four homers (all on the road) and 26 RBIs.
Entering the season, the Marlins felt like they had arguably the best starting outfield in the game with Yelich, Ozuna and three-time All-Star Giancarlo Stanton. But the trio has been hit by injuries and inconsistencies. In April, Yelich spent time on the disabled list with a back injury. Stanton is recovering from a broken left hand, which required surgery on June 28.
"I'm not going to worry about the past," Ozuna said. "I'm going to worry about the present and try to finish strong."