Lee puts together his own hit string amid rumors

Lee puts together his own hit string amid rumors

Lee puts together his own hit string amid rumors
NEW YORK -- At a time many are wondering if he's on his way out of Miami, Carlos Lee is starting to fit in nicely with the Marlins.

The 36-year-old first baseman is no stranger to rumors. His name was prominently mentioned before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And it's come up again in recent days.

The veteran still could be moved in a trade in the August waivers period. But he has a no-trade clause that he recently exercised to block a potential move to the Yankees.

"There is one thing I can control, it's how I approach the game and game time," Lee said. "That's the things I worry about, to go out and play the game. The stuff around me, there ain't much you can do about it. Why pay attention?"

On the field, Lee is handling business as usual. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games on Thursday, and he entered the game batting .435 (20-for-46) over his previous 13 games.

The Marlins acquired Lee from the Astros on July 4 for prospects Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen.

During the streak, Lee has 13 RBIs, giving him 51 on the season. The veteran notes that his work with hitting coach Eduardo Perez has helped him make some necessary adjustments.

"I'm feeling good," Lee said. "I was working with Eduardo, and that helped me a lot, trying to find my swing. I'm staying with the same approach from at-bat to at-bat. I wasn't using my legs. That's a big part of my game. I'm kind of going back to the basics, and feeling better and better."

Lee is a free agent after the season, and the Marlins are expected to switch Logan Morrison to first base next year. So there may not be a position for the veteran.

Morrison, however, is dealing with a right knee injury, and health is a concern. If the Marlins did want Lee back, the veteran is willing to listen.

"Who knows?" Lee said of where he will be next year. "Everybody has got their plans. I don't know what the plans are for next year. I'm working hard, doing my best. If there is an opportunity to stay here, I'd be happy to be in this lineup. But it's not up to me."

Despite the team's struggles this season, Lee sees a talented lineup, which includes -- when healthy -- Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, Justin Ruggiano and Giancarlo Stanton.

"I think this team has got great balance," Lee said. "It's a good team. Unfortunately, you had several guys going down. I think if you put this team together -- Bonifacio, Reyes, you've got Stanton coming back. Ruggiano, he's a big part too. If you put this team together, it's going to be a lot of fun."