6/8/2014 2:00 P.M. ET
Realmuto reflects on choosing baseball over football
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Football or baseball?
When J.T. Realmuto was a high school senior in Midwest City, Okla., he weighed his options.
In football, he was a standout quarterback on a state championship team. He also was a shortstop in baseball.
The Marlins selected Realmuto in the third round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and converted him to catcher. He's now showing promise in the big leagues, making the leap from Double-A Jacksonville after Jarrod Saltalamacchia was placed on the seven-day concussion list.
Saltalamacchia is expected to be transferred to the 15-day DL.
Realmuto, 23, on Sunday made his second big league start. Jeff Mathis has been getting a majority of the playing time since Saltalamacchia went down.
At Carl Albert High School, Realmuto decided to give his full attention to baseball after the football season.
"I had some opportunities to play college football," he said. "I decided right after football season my senior year that I was going to focus on baseball. I figured I had a better chance in baseball."
Had he opted for college, the catcher would have had chances to play football and baseball. He had football opportunities at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Stanford.
Oklahoma State is where he has his most passion, but fulfilling the baseball dream is the direction he took.
"I thought about it for a while," he said. "Then I decided just to play baseball."
Yelich showing signs of breaking out of slump
CHICAGO -- The sharp single to center and the home run Christian Yelich hit on Saturday are reminders of what the 22-year-old is capable.
The fact Yelich had two impressive hits off Jeff Samardzija, arguably the best right-hander in the National League this year, is also impressive.
Yelich's track record of hitting at every level are other reasons the Marlins are so high on their young left fielder, despite some struggles he's endured in recent weeks.
"He gives you good at-bats," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's got power. You see it in there. It's just really a matter of time and consistency for him. But he keeps having good at-bats. Even though his average isn't where he would want it, or everyone else would want it, I know he's going to give me a good at-bat."
Yelich's season average dipped to .245 with a .328 on-base percentage. The left-handed-hitting outfielder also has six homers, five triples, 10 doubles, 20 RBIs and 39 runs scored.
Yelich takes his lows in stride, much like he does his highs.
"Obviously, there is a little frustration, but it is part of the game," he said. "You're going to have stretches where you struggle. Obviously, you don't want it to be as long as mine has been."
Yelich hit .287 in April, and he's had a 17-game hitting streak this year. But he's followed up a .217 month of May by batting .160 in June, entering Sunday.
More than his own numbers, Yelich understands his importance at the top of the order.
"You want to get on base as the guy at the top of the order," Yelich said. "You want to help the team. That's been the frustrating part of it, because we have been able to score runs.
"I know personally, if I am able to get on base, it just helps our team out so much more. That's been the most frustrating part about it. I've been feeling better the last couple of days. It's baseball. It's going to be a learning experience, and it's something I'm going to be better off for after going through something like this."
Marlins help celebrate Wrigley with throwbacks
CHICAGO -- As part of the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field, the Cubs and Marlins on Sunday took part in a throwback uniform day.
The Cubs sported retro 1942 Cubs uniforms, while the Marlins were clad in 1940-inspired Miami Sun Sox gray with black lettering uniforms.
The old Sun Sox were a Minor League affiliate of the Dodgers, who won their league championship in 1950 and '52.
The Marlins, of course, have a bright color scheme with their 2014 regular uniforms. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has cleats with red-orange, and on Sunday, he wore a red-orange compression sleeve on his right arm.
Stanton didn't pack a black sleeve, so he had to add his own colors on throwback day.
"They have gray and black, just like the video," Stanton said. "They're all right. They're a little different than ours.
"But it's all right. It's a good cause for 100 years of history and all the memories that are here."
• The Marlins' rotation is in a little bit of limbo. Nathan Eovaldi, who started Friday at Chicago, could be starting on Wednesday at Texas or Friday against the Pirates at Marlins Park. Eovaldi's wife is expecting any day, creating some uncertainty when he will next take the mound. If Eovaldi doesn't throw on Wednesday, Jacob Turner could get the nod in the finale with the Rangers.
A wild card in the equation for the rotation is top prospect Andrew Heaney. The 23-year-old lefty comes off another impressive win for Triple-A New Orleans. On Saturday night, Heaney struck out nine in six innings and allowed one run on five hits.
At the earliest, Heaney could be called up for the weekend home series with the Pirates.
• Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of Stanton's MLB debut, which took place in 2010 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The slugger, who now has 134 homers, had three singles that day.
• Trying to make a comeback with the Marlins, Miguel Tejada injured his shoulder throwing and landed on Triple-A New Orleans' seven-day disabled list with right rotator cuff tendinopathy. The injury isn't believed to be serious.