In a shocking move, the Florida Marlins have send fan favorite and Twitter addicted outfielder Logan Morrison to AAA New Orleans. In another not so surprising move, they have released corner infielder Wes Helms.
Helms, 35, was in the final year of his contract with the Marlins but was struggling all season long. He hit .190 and was clearly blown away all season by fastballs, evidenced by his 35 strikeouts in 124 plate appearances.
However, the real head-scratcher of a move was optioning Morrison to AAA New Orleans.
Morrison was hitting .249 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI—numbers that would be acceptable for most outfielders especially when you consider Morrison is only 23 years old. But apparently the hierarchy didn't think so, and after yet another loss the Marlins optioned him down to the minor leagues.
Recently, Morrison made comments to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel regarding the Marlins' recent skid and why they have endured countless losing streaks. In that interview, the Marlins outfielder said, “What we don’t have is experience and a veteran who is in the lineup every day that can be an anchor for us. We don’t have it.”
Earlier in the season, Morrison ripped owner Jeffrey Loria when the team fired hitting coach John Mallee and called out shortstop Hanley Ramirez for being late to warmups on the day Jack McKeon was introduced as interim manager.
The demotion comes a day after Morrison said on television, "Ricky Nolasco pitched his a** off tonight" on live feed with no censor.
It could have the final straw and a message by the front office perhaps on the orders of owner Jeffrey Loria who can't stand that his outfielder is ripping him, the front office and his star player Ramirez for their actions.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the Marlins are 50-39 when Hanley Ramirez is in the lineup but are 42-51 when Logan Morrison is the lineup.
One argument can be made the Marlins want Morrison to return to his on-base ability of last season when he had a .390 OBP (41 walks and 51 strikeouts) in 287 plate appearances whilst he has a .328 OBP in 2011 (38 walks and 79 strikeouts) in 406 plate appearances.
Morrison's on-base percentage has diminished by the month from .424 (April), .390 (May), .277 (June), .272 (July) and .335 (August), which is a small sample size.
Morrison told 790 The Ticket that he felt "mad" and "resentful" after the move and told other local media, "All I know is I go out and I give everything for this team. I play hurt, I play through injury and this is how you get treated."
The move certainly isn't a popular one and only lowers that "momentum" meter that the Marlins have craved for entering the new ballpark. It certainly better be a hell of an offseason to wipe the slate clean considering the resurgence of Cameron Maybin with the Padres, Dan Uggla's historic hitting streak and now the demotion of fan favorite Logan Morrison.