As recently as the middle of June, Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison had an OPS in the .900s. Since then, however, he's batted .207 with a .687 OPS over more than 200 trips to the plate, and in response, the Marlins have demoted the 23-year-old to triple-A. David Villavicencio:
The Marlins have decided to shake up their roster by demoting one of their young core players and releasing a veteran leader. Following Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Giants, the Marlins optioned Logan Morrison to Triple-A New Orleans and released infielder Wes Helms.
Even with his struggles, Morrison owns a 114 OPS+ that's among the best on the team. Given that, there's suspicion that Morrison's demotion involves an off-the-field component, and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest did little to suggest otherwise:
"We thought it was in the best interest for Logan to go down and work on things," Beinfest said. "He needs to concentrate on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer and work his way back."
Morrison is among baseball's more candid athletes, and his Twitter account has gotten him into trouble on more than one occasion. The Marlins would probably prefer that he be a little less open about certain things, and though they won't admit outright that Morrison's character has something to do with this move, they didn't deny it when given the chance.
Beinfest did take the opportunity to express confidence in Morrison's future:
"He's going to be a good player for a long time," Beinfest said. "The talent is there and he's going to be a good player for a long time. We just thought it was the right thing to do for him."
The Marlins aren't giving up on Morrison. From the looks of things, they're just trying to teach him a lesson.
A lesson to which Morrison doesn't appear particularly receptive. From Joe Capozzi:
Logan Morrison plans to consult the player’s union to see if he has any grounds for a grievance against the Marlins for optioning him late Saturday to Class AAA New Orleans.
Something tells me we haven't heard the last of this story. In the meantime, the Marlins have replaced Morrison and Wes Helms with Jose Lopez and Ozzie Martinez. Bryan Petersen started in left field on Sunday against the Giants.