How he arrived: Signed as a free agent ($1.1 million for one year)
What a first week for Casey McGehee.
The Marlins third baseman returned from Japan with a bang. He had five extra-base hits and 10 RBI as the Marlins won five of their first seven games. McGehee had such an awesome start, it caught the eyes of many observers.
According to Stats LLC, via the Miami Herald, McGehee and Giancarlo Stanton became the first teammates to collect at least 10 RBI in the first six games since the Colorado Rockies' Dante Bichette and Andres Galarraga did it in 1994.
Courtesy of USA Today's Steve Gardner, McGehee was bestowed the Tuffy Award, which goes to the biggest statistical outliers of baseball's opening week.
Back in the real world, McGehee has earned the opportunity to hit cleanup when the Marlins face a left-handed starting pitcher. The reason behind this is to get as much protection as possible for Stanton, who bats third in the lineup. Prior to this season, McGehee had 112 at-bats batting fourth in his MLB career. He addressed hitting cleanup with MLB.com.
I liken it to hitting behind Prince in Milwaukee. I no longer get my feelings hurt when they pitch around them. I get it. It's the same thing I feel with Stanton. I understand why they would want to pitch around him at times.
At the end of the day, though, McGehee is just happy to be back in the United States. McGehee resurrected his career in Japan as he batted .292 with a team-high 28 home runs and 93 RBI. He helped lead the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to their first Japan Series title in a thrilling seven games against the 22-time champion Yomiuri Giants.
More importantly, McGehee learned some valuable lessons in humility and appreciation for the opportunity he now has. He knows better than to get comfortable since the Marlins have 2013 first-round pick Colin Moran coming up through the farm system.
"The one thing I’m going to try and take with me is to not to get too wrapped up in the small moments,” McGehee told the Miami Herald. “I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. ... Nothing is permanent, good or bad."
It's funny that McGehee said nothing is permanent because he has cooled off. Since the Marlins hit the road this week, McGehee has one hit in eight at-bats.
Nonetheless, McGehee's work in the first week has earned him an exemplary grade.