Miami Marlins owner and CEO Derek Jeter met with the media on Friday ahead of the team’s 7-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates to give a brief “State of the Team” address and discuss the Marlins first trip to play the New York Yankees with Giancarlo Stanton in pinstripes and Jeter as the man who owns the opposing team.
By the way, Jeter told the media he was not making the trip to The Bronx. He cited the team’s first trip to the Bronx should be about the players, not the owner who bought the organization in October of last season.
“I’m not going. I just want to let everybody know, I’m not going to New York. I went to the Spring Training game when we played New York,” Derek Jeter said. “But it would be an awkward situation for me to actually go to Yankee Stadium. I’m just being honest with you guys. That’s why I’m not going. I knew it was going to be a story, one way or the other. So, I might as well get out in front of it and say, I’m not going. So, I will not be there.”
Jeter, who bought the Marlins with Bruce Sherman from former owner Jeffrey Loria, has been a controversial owner since he moved into his new office at Marlins Park for his decisions regarding the organization. He has taken heat for trading and releasing popular players over the offseason and making moves with the front office that weren’t popular with the fan base in South Florida.
Derek Jeter told reporters he thought his team had grit and the players were playing hard. The mantra since Spring Training has been this team would take time to develop. The Marlins are 4-9 this season. With many new faces on the 25-man roster and in the team’s minor league system, it will take time to gel as a franchise.
“I like the grit, the fight the team has shown. We’ve tied or had the lead in 10 of the 12 games,” he said. “We’re developing a winning culture. Sometimes it takes a little time. I like how the guys are at least going about their business. No one is happy with the results. But it’s a long season and we need to try to get a win tonight [Friday].”
On Friday night, J.B. Shuck went 4-for-4 and scored two runs he Miami victory. Shuck had been recalled from Triple-A New Orleans prior to the game. Shuck was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training with the Marlins, and the 30-year-old opened the season at New Orleans. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder last played in the big leagues with the White Sox in 2016, appearing in 80 games while batting .205.
The team also announced that outfielder Braxton Lee had been opted to Triple-A New Orleans and that outfielder Garrett Cooper had been transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Miami’s Opening Day right fielder, Cooper has a partial tear of his right wrist tendon sheath, and likely won’t be back until around July.
Jeter acknowledged the long process of using young players in the daily lineup. It’s early in the season and manager Don Mattingly is tinkering with both the lineup and the pitching staff, trying to find the right fit.
“It’s still early. We’ve played 12 games. I don’t think you ever try to judge a start or judge a player over a 12-game stretch,” Jeter explained.
“You at least let it go three or four weeks before you start passing judgment. I like the approach. Guys are battling, playing hard, but we’ve got to find ways to win more games.”
The Marlins and Jeter hope to get veteran pitcher Dan Straily back from inflammation in his forearm that has placed him on the disabled list. Wei-Yin Chen has thrown without discomfort in his elbow that has been a problem since last season.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto is moving closer to being added to the major league roster after a back injury has sidelined him since March 11. If the Marlins can get help from veterans while the rookies and inexperienced players find their groove, Derek Jeter and his Marlins may look better as the season progresses.