MIAMI -- When Ed Lucas was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on July 20, the Marlins had just put together a string of six consecutive losses. So returning to Miami's clubhouse at Marlins Park on Wednesday morning was something of a culture shock for the 32-year-old.
"It's awesome to watch, you know. I'm happy, but at the same time I'm thinking, man, I must be a pretty bad teammate if as soon as I leave, they rattle off nine out of 10," Lucas joked. "Kind of makes you question yourself a little bit."
The Marlins have, indeed, excelled in the last 10 days, but it was important for Lucas to get some regular playing time with the Zephyrs while he had the chance. Despite making eight starts in his last 10 games with the Marlins, the infielder wasn't hitting consistently, batting just .222 with 11 strikeouts in July.
Lucas needed the time in Triple-A to iron out those numbers and play more often. He even got the opportunity to play all over the field, making starts at second, short, third and one in right field.
And although he knocked six hits and struck out eight times in nine games, Lucas managed to fix some of the things in his approach that weren't working.
"It's tough to come off the bench, when you're getting only one start a week or a start every two weeks, having to pinch-hit and whatnot," Lucas said. "It's a tough thing to do. It was good to go down and get straightened out."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter