Marlins' heavy hitters off to slow start

Marlins' heavy hitters off to slow start

Marlins' heavy hitters off to slow start
MIAMI -- The Marlins have gotten off to a slow start and a lot of that has to do with a struggling offense.

While they have scored eight runs in a game and six in another, the Marlins are averaging just 3.3 runs per game over their first seven contests. Most of their lack of run production centers around their struggling middle of the order.

Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez have combined to drive in just six of the Marlins 23 runs on the season. Beyond not driving in runs, the trio is a combined 12-for-65 over the first seven games this year.

"Definitely the reason why we're not winning games right now falls on my shoulders and the people in the middle of the lineup," Morrison said. Stanton leads the group with a .240 batting average while Morrison and Sanchez are batting .188 and .125 respectively. The trio has combined for just three extra-base hits so far. While some would say that is possibly just bad luck, Morrison believes differently.

"Baseball is a little bit of a game of luck but when you hit it over the fence there are really no gloves that it could find," Morrison said.

While Sanchez is off to an uncharacteristic slow start, there is reason to believe he will turn it around. The 28-year-old is a career .291 hitter in the first half of the season.

With Stanton and Morrison, some may point to their lack of playing time this spring as the reason for their early struggles. Marlins bench coach Joey Cora certainly believes that is a factor.

"They didn't have Spring Training. It's not fair," Cora said. "If you can step in after only playing three or four games in Spring Training and do well, everybody would do that. Unfortunately that's not the way it works. You have to have Spring Training, you have to get at-bats and play the field. Playing on the backfields against Minor Leaguers doesn't get you ready to face big league pitchers. That's why you play big league games in Spring Training."

Even though his coaches understand the situation, Morrison does not believe he should be held to a different standard because he is catching up after missing most of the spring.

"There are no excuses," Morrison said. "We've got to go out and keep improving day by day"

Cora is confident that the trio of talent young hitters will soon get in a groove and start providing the production the Marlins expect from them.

"They're a little off with their timing but I expect them to be alright once they get that down," Cora said. "Hopefully they get it soon because we need them."