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In first MLB action since '16, Shuck has 4 hits

Called up before game, Marlins OF triples, scores twice; Lee optioned to Triple-A
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- The Marlins addressed their outfield depth situation on Friday afternoon, selecting the contract of J.B. Shuck from Triple-A New Orleans and optioning Braxton Lee to the Baby Cakes. The transaction produced immediate results as Shuck went 4-for-4 and scored two runs in Miami's 7-2 win over the Pirates at Marlins Park.

To make 40-man roster space for Shuck, outfielder Garrett Cooper was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Miami's Opening Day right fielder, Cooper has a partial tear of his right wrist tendon sheath, and likely won't be back until around July.

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MIAMI -- The Marlins addressed their outfield depth situation on Friday afternoon, selecting the contract of J.B. Shuck from Triple-A New Orleans and optioning Braxton Lee to the Baby Cakes. The transaction produced immediate results as Shuck went 4-for-4 and scored two runs in Miami's 7-2 win over the Pirates at Marlins Park.

To make 40-man roster space for Shuck, outfielder Garrett Cooper was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Miami's Opening Day right fielder, Cooper has a partial tear of his right wrist tendon sheath, and likely won't be back until around July.

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"JB is a guy who has been around more, and he's not as wide-eyed as a young player who is still trying to find his way," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Shuck was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training with the Marlins, and the 30-year-old opened the season at New Orleans. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder last played in the big leagues with the White Sox in 2016, appearing in 80 games while batting .205.

"With JB, you get a guy who has been in the big leagues before, but has struggled to get back," Mattingly said. "He's excited to be here, with experience at the big league level."

The four hits match a record for a player making his Marlins debut. Jeff Conine (1993), Carlos Delgado (2005) and Emilio Bonifacio (2009) are the other three.

Video: PIT@MIA: Shuck goes 4-for-4 in season debut

"That's awesome," Shuck said. "That's a great group. I've played with Bonifacio before."

Lee, Miami's No. 16 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, has been used in a reserve role. By going to New Orleans, he can continue his development and play regularly.

"Shuck brings more experience," Mattingly said. "Probably, at this point, a more professional at-bat. But the main thing is to get Brax down playing, developing like he should be. We want to make sure Brax is developing properly."

Video: PIT@MIA: Shuck comes around to score on sac bunt

A left-handed hitter who attended Ohio State University, Shuck's also played in the big leagues with the Astros (2011), Angels (2013-14), Indians (2014) and White Sox (2015-16).

Mattingly envisions Shuck and Cameron Maybin, who hits from the right side, mixing and matching, while splitting time in the outfield.

"We see Cam and J.B., both of those guys play all over," Mattingly said. "We can mix and match in right, left and center. We can pretty much do anything we want with that combination of guys."

Cooper suffered a right wrist bruise after being hit by a pitch on March 30, in the second game of the season. He was struck by a Kyle Hendricks pitch, and initially, the club was optimistic he would be fine.

Video: CHC@MIA: Cooper exits game after getting hit by pitch

"It will be a few months until I'm back to full strength," Cooper said. "Two months off is probably not the best for your timing and everything, but baseball injuries, freak injuries happen. Nothing you can do about it, so you move on, do your treatment and hopefully get back in there."

Cooper says he will not need surgery. If he had it, it would cost him the entire year.

After being examined a few days ago by a hand specialist, Cooper's hand was placed in a hard cast for about 10 days, and then he will be in a splint.

"When you put a guy in a cast, it's no longer a bruise," Mattingly said. "Unfortunately for us, Cooper is a guy we thought was going to bring a little juice to our lineup in right field, first base. Give us some flexibility along those lines. Now we move forward, hopefully, Cooper down the road gets back and is able to be productive for us."

Worth noting
• Catcher J.T. Realmuto, on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back bruise, is not being considered in possible trade discussions. Speculation has risen in recent days due to Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki's injury.

Realmuto will begin his rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Jupiter on Saturday. The hope is he will join the Marlins at some point on their upcoming road trip, which opens on Monday at the Yankees and goes to the Brewers on Thursday, then on to the Dodgers.

• Third baseman Martin Prado (left hamstring strain) played five innings in an extended spring game on Friday and could go on rehab assignment as early as next week. When Prado returns, third baseman Brian Anderson could be playing some corner outfield or first base.

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

Miami Marlins, Garrett Cooper, Braxton Lee, J.B. Shuck