Marisnick starts, hot-hitting Ruggiano sits

Marisnick starts, hot-hitting Ruggiano sits

Marisnick starts, hot-hitting Ruggiano sits

MIAMI -- Belting two homers along with a two-run double on Friday night didn't change Justin Ruggiano's status on Saturday.

Once again, the outfielder was not in the Marlins' starting lineup for the second game of the weekend series with the Giants at Marlins Park.

Ruggiano had a big night in Miami's 14-10 series-opening loss. Entering as part of a double-switch, he drove in four runs on three hits, with the two home runs.

For now, Ruggiano's role is as a reserve, as the Marlins are giving rookie Jake Marisnick regular playing time in center field.

Manager Mike Redmond remains committed to the plan of going with young players in what has been a developmental year for the organization.

Ruggiano received the bulk of the playing time in the first half, and he has 302 at-bats in 93 games. He also labored through a Marlins record 0-for-42 slump, which was snapped after he collected three hits at Kansas City on Wednesday.

In his last two games, Ruggiano is 6-for-8. He understands his situation.

"The patience [Redmond] had with me when I was going through a rut, I have so much respect for what he did when I was doing nothing," Ruggiano said. "The decisions he makes the rest of this year, I'm always going to have his back. I'm here to do whatever job he wants me to do."

Ruggiano on Wednesday was given the start in right field at Kansas City when Giancarlo Stanton took a breather.

Redmond said he gave consideration to starting Ruggiano on Saturday, but opted to stick with Marisnick, who is batting .200 in 22 games.

"It's funny," Redmond said. "When [Ruggiano] was 0-for-38, you guys thought I was crazy playing him over Stanton. Now that he is 6-for-8, you are wondering why I'm not playing him? It's funny."

Redmond noted that Ruggiano still may play, coming off the bench, if necessary.

"He's swinging the bat well," Redmond said. "Hopefully he will get a big hit for us coming off the bench.

"Jake is a young guy, and we want him to go out there and get some playing time. That's important to him. Rugg got in there and he took advantage of his opportunity. Who is to say he might not be in there [Sunday]?"

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter