6/26/2013 12:01 P.M. ET
Marlins break old habits with strong June
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Finally, the Marlins have been able to put their "June Swoon" behind them.
Miami may have the worst overall record in the Majors, but in June, it's been a different story.
Entering Wednesday, the Marlins are 12-9 in June, which gives them the sixth-best winning percentage (.571) of any team in the Majors for the month.
In June, the Marlins also have the top winning percentage in the National League East. Atlanta is next at 13-11 (.542).
The rise is a complete reversal from the past two seasons. In 2012, the Marlins were 8-18 in June, tumbling them out of contention to the point management traded away core players last July.
And in 2011, the Marlins were 5-23 in June. The downward spiral prompted Edwin Rodriguez to step down as manager.
Giancarlo Stanton has experienced plenty of negative in June. The 23-year-old slugger is enjoying the turnaround.
"It's 10 times better being able to put some wins together, and actually have a feeling that you have a chance," Stanton said.
Having Stanton and Logan Morrison back in the lineup, and the return of Nathan Eovaldi to the pitching staff, upgrades the roster.
Stanton missed all of May with a strained right hamstring. He noticed that when the team got down early there was a feeling it wouldn't come back.
"It is good to be in every game, and to come out of top," Stanton said.
Unlike earlier in the season, the Marlins are capitalizing on critical chances.
"We're stepping up in clutch situations," Stanton said. "Sometimes you get five to 10 huge situations, and sometimes you get one or two. It was that one mental mistake that was costing us the game."
The middle of Miami's offense now is more formidable with Stanton, Morrison and Marcell Ozuna.
"I think I'm relatively pitched the same, no matter what," said Stanton, who bats third. "I haven't been completely thrown around yet. Before it was kind of four pitches not in the zone. It's a little bit different knowing you've got a lefty and a righty behind you who are hitting. It's good."
Dietrich remaining patient amid growing pains
MIAMI -- Educated at Georgia Tech University, Derek Dietrich has a pretty good understanding of baseball.
A quick learner, Dietrich now has 40 games of big league experience under his belt. And the 23-year-old rookie second baseman realizes that sometimes you can get in trouble by over-analyzing situations.
"I'm working on really relaxing and not trying to do too much," Dietrich said. "Taking what they are giving to me. Slowly, I'm making the adjustments. I just have to get in there, be ready and not think too much."
Dietrich is going through his share of growing pains. His batting average is now an even .200 in 150 big league at-bats. But the left-handed hitter is a threat, as he showed in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Twins.
Dietrich connected on his seventh home run of the season. Ironically, four of them have been off left-handed pitching.
The Marlins acquired Dietrich from the Rays last December for Yunel Escobar. He is making a case for being the team's second baseman of the future.
Part of his progression is dealing with streaks and slumps.
"When they start making adjustments to you, the first thing you think is, 'What do I got to do? What do I got to do?' You start thinking a little too much," he said. "I just have to get back to just being ready to hit. Seeing the ball and hitting the ball, and not trying to do too much."
A few weeks ago, Dietrich was batting third. But now with Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison back in the lineup, the rookie second baseman is hitting at the bottom of the order.
"There are guys from the top to bottom of this lineup who can put runs across and drive guys in," Dietrich said. "It definitely makes it easier. We've got a lot of good guys in this clubhouse who have been very helpful, and they've helped me with the adjustments, too. I'm looking to forward to going out there and competing every day."
Dobbs settling into pinch-hitting role
MIAMI -- The return of core position players like Logan Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton to the lineup has allowed the Marlins' bench to fall into place.
Greg Dobbs, for instance, has settled back into the role the team envisioned for him entering the season. The veteran is a quality pinch-hitter who can play multiple positions.
Like the rest of the team, Dobbs has seen his production pick up in June. Entering Wednesday, he was batting .296 in 15 games, and he delivered a couple of critical pinch-hit singles last weekend at San Francisco.
As a pinch-hitter this year, Dobbs started off hitless in his first eight at-bats, but he now has a string of three straight hits in that role.
"That's kind of what we talked about in Spring Training was having him in that [pinch-hit] position," manager Mike Redmond said. "But with all the injuries, he had to play. I know it's good for him, because he loves to play."
Logan Morrison started the season on the 60-day disabled list and Casey Kotchman (hamstring) missed substantial time, and Dobbs filled in at first base on a regular basis.
In May, the left-handed hitter had 91 at-bats and batted .193.
Coming off the bench, Dobbs gives the Marlins a weapon who can deliver against left-handed and right-handed pitchers.
"Really, his strength and value to this team is coming off the bench," Redmond said. "That's exactly what he's done, whether it's against a lefty or righty or whatever. We're always looking to get him into a good right-hander situation, but he gives you great at-bats against a lefty."
• Closer Steve Cishek leads the National League for saves in June with eight, two more than Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman.
• Marcell Ozuna tops National League rookies with a .298 batting average entering Wednesday's game, and his 25 RBIs are second to Justin Ruggiano's 28 on the Marlins.