05/29/12 7:10 PM ET
Marlins' decision time nears for Gaby
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
The Marlins optioned the first baseman to Triple-A New Orleans on May 20. By league rule, barring replacing someone who was placed on the disabled list, any player optioned must stay at least 10 days in the Minor Leagues before being brought back up.
"Needless to say, we're keeping our eye on him," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "We're tracking him every day and talking to our people. We want him to be confident and comfortable."
An All-Star in 2011, Sanchez has struggled at the big league level, batting .197 with one home run and 11 RBIs in 36 games.
Since being optioned, he's played in nine games with the Zephyrs, batting .300 (9-for-30) with a home run and four RBIs. Sanchez had an eight-game hitting streak going before he went 0-for-4 on Monday.
"Gaby has always hit," Beinfest said. "He hit pretty much immediately when he came to the Major Leagues. For him not to hit is a little bit off the tracks, and it's not something we anticipated. Let's get him really feeling good about himself and comfortable."
Logan Morrison has been playing first base since Sanchez was sent down.
"Logan is doing a fine job at first, and his bat looks like it's waking up a little bit," Beinfest said. "We'll just take it as a positive and do what we've got to do."
Reyes shows off ability to manufacture runs
MIAMI -- When you're facing the team that's given up the fewest amount of runs in the Majors, you try to manufacture as much as possible.
Jose Reyes did exactly that in the seventh inning on Monday, creating an insurance run in Miami's 5-3 win over the Nationals.
Reyes floated a hit into center field that he stretched into a double. He moved to third on a groundout to third and scored on a sacrifice fly to short center field.
"That team is playing so well right now, every run you get right now is huge," Reyes said. "With the staff they have right now, every run is huge."
The Nationals have allowed 159 total runs, and 144 earned runs, the fewest in the game.
As a catalyst, Reyes adjusts his approaches late in the game. In the early innings, he may be more aggressive early in the count. But in the final innings, if Miami needs a baserunner, he will work deeper counts.
"It changes in close games," Reyes said. "Maybe I'll take more pitches and try to get on base, no matter what. It's not always where I think I have to get on base with a hit. You can get a walk. It's huge, especially in close ballgames.
"I put one thing in my mind, 'Don't try to put too much pressure trying to get on base.' I look for my pitch. If it's not there, I'm going to take it."
Ozzie puts premium on defense in outfield
MIAMI -- In spacious Marlins Park, manager Ozzie Guillen sees the need for speed in his left and center fielders.
"To be an outfielder here, to play left or center field, you better have some speed," Guillen said. "You cannot have a guy every day who doesn't have range in the outfield, because there is going to be trouble. This is a huge park, and we've got to go get it.
"Defense is very important. To me, I think defense is more important than anything else. Defense helps pitching. If you make the play for the guy, he's going to last longer on the mound."
Having speed in left puts the team in an interesting position.
Logan Morrison was the Opening Day left fielder, but he's played first base since Gaby Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on May 20.
Chris Coghlan, who made a terrific running grab to rob Bryce Harper of the Nationals on Monday, has been seeing action in left field.
When Sanchez is brought back up, Morrison could be moving back to left field. But Morrison, who had surgery on his right knee last December, doesn't have the range of Coghlan.
So if he does go to the outfield, Morrison is a likely candidate to be replaced for defensive reasons late in games.
"It was in the [seventh]," Guillen said of Coghlan's catch on Harper. "LoMo is not going to be there. Defense is the No. 1 thing to me, besides pitching."