Fill-in Ozuna has plans to stick around
Called up after Stanton's injury, outfielder projects as future star
MIAMI -- It was nothing personal for Marcell Ozuna, but the Marlins prospect was informed by his former Double-A teammates not to return.
Ozuna, 22, made his MLB debut on Tuesday night, and he chipped in with his first big league hit, a single to left field against Jeremy Hefner in his second at-bat. Miami went on to win, 2-1, rallying with two runs in the ninth inning.
Afterwards, Ozuna received some calls from Jacksonville.
"'Don't come back,'" Ozuna said he was told. "Some people called and said for me to keep swinging, and that I'm doing well."
Miami promoted Ozuna to the big leagues on Tuesday after All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
Being without Stanton for perhaps a month creates a big void in the Marlins' offense. It will take a collective effort to pick up the production, but Ozuna is certainly capable of posting strong numbers.
In 10 games at Jacksonville, Ozuna batted .333 with five home runs and 15 RBIs. Before the callup, he was named the Southern League's Player of the Week.
Rated the Marlins' sixth-best prospect by MLB.com, Ozuna projects to be a middle-of-the-lineup threat. He batted fifth on Wednesday in the series finale against the Mets at Marlins Park.
Already, Ozuna has a great souvenir of his first big league hit -- the baseball, with the signatures of all his teammates on it.
"They signed the ball, and I'm going to put it on my wall at home," Ozuna said. "It's a big moment. It's the first step in my career."
Koehler's versatility a big relief for Marlins
MIAMI -- Roles in the Marlins' bullpen can pretty much vary on a daily basis. There is closer Steve Cishek, and the rest of the relievers are on call.
Tom Koehler knows he mainly will be used in long relief, but he still could go one inning late in the game. So the right-hander is prepared for anything.
"Everybody is sitting down there, and there is really only one defined role, and that's Steve," Koehler said.
In Monday's 15-inning win over the Mets, Koehler threw three scoreless innings, striking out five. Out of necessity, Jon Rauch, mainly used in setup situations, threw three innings.
"We saw Jon go three innings," Koehler said. "That's big. We needed that. That's why he's played a while."
Koehler is a hard thrower from New York who pitched at Stony Brook University. Since being called up from Triple-A New Orleans, he's been effective for Miami, posting 7 1/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts.
"For me, I'm just going to try to go out there and throw until they tell me not to," Koehler said. "That's all I can do in the situation that I'm in, and hope for the best."
The right-hander made his big league debut last September, pitching in eight games with one start. He struck out 13 batters in 13 1/3 innings.
"I don't know if I'm missing more bats," Koehler said. "I'd say I'm probably executing a little better, and really sticking to the plan that's in place, and just going from there."
• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday, and chances are he will be reinstated. The 24-year-old went on the DL on April 18 with a right elbow contusion. Hechavarria was scheduled to play in a rehab assignment game for Class A Jupiter on Wednesday night. Barring a setback, he will be brought to Philadelphia, and the Marlins will designate Nick Green for assignment.
"It's disappointing," Green said. "Everybody wants to be in the big leagues, and you've got to try to do the best you can when you get a chance. That's all I could do."
• The Marlins are expected to option left-hander Brad Hand to Triple-A New Orleans. A candidate to have his contract selected is Matt Diaz, who is playing first base at New Orleans.
• Catcher Rob Brantly sustained a cut on his right index finger, which is why he didn't start on Wednesday afternoon. Brantly should be ready in a day or two.