7:30am: The Astros announced after last night’s game that center fielder Jake Marisnick has been optioned back to Triple-A. It’s not yet clear who’ll take his spot on the active roster.
It seems the hope in Houston is that Marisnick can get back on track with some time spent at Fresno. As MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports, skipper A.J. Hinch said after the game that the speedy outfielder will receive “a run of at-bats he’s not going to get [in the majors] over the next ten days or however long he’s down there.”
The current campaign has certainly been frustrating to this point for the 27-year-old Marisnick, who had posted a breakout 2017 effort. Of course, his excellent output last year — including a .243/.319/.496 slash with 16 home runs and nine steals — came with a worrisome 34.7% strikeout rate.
Thus far in 2018, the swings and misses have ruled the day. Marisnick is striking out at an alarming 47.1% clip and has drawn just a single walk in 87 plate appearances. His power output is way down as well, though it’s the .151 OBP that is most concerning.
While the ’Stros certainly value Marisnick’s quality baserunning and fielding, they understandably feel he needs some time to figure things out at the plate. He is earning $1.9MM this year and remains eligible for two more seasons of arbitration.