Marlins Option Struggling OF Marcell Ozuna to AAA

The Marlins demoted a key part of their lineup when they sent Marcell Ozuna to AAA on Sunday

The Miami Marlins optioned Marcell Ozuna to AAA New Orleans on Sunday following a prolonged slump for the outfielder.

Ozuna entered the year with high expectations after a breakthrough 2014 season. The center fielder was unable to live up to the lofty goals however, and has struggled to be productive all season.

Following Sunday's loss in Chicago, Ozuna's slash line is .249 / .301 / .337. Of note is a lack of power for the outfielder. Ozuna only has four home runs this season, and has only knocked in 26 runs total.

With Giancarlo Stanton out of commission, Miami needs more production from the rest of the lineup. Ozuna simply has not been able to provide that, and he has also had numerous poor at-bats. In at least one at-bat during Sunday's loss, Ozuna appeared to lose focus and made poor decisions on pitch selection.

Ozuna only has one hit in his last 36 at-bats, and has been held without a knock for 17 straight. Not only is Ozuna failing to pick up hits, but he is also not taking free passes, Ozuna has not walked since June 30th, and had only one prior to that since June 19th.

The Marlins have a lack of options in terms of replacing Ozuna especially with Stanton on the disabled list. Miami could give some at-bats to Ichiro Suzuki and Cole Gillespie in the outfield. Michael Morse will also likely see time at a corner outfield spot. The Marlins may promote Jordany Valdespin from AAA for further depth as well.

Miami is off on Monday before heading to Boston for a quick two-game series against the Red Six.

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