08/15/11 12:11 AM EST
Marlins' Beinfest expounds on LoMo's demotion
By David Villavicencio and Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
On Sunday, Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest explained the organization's thinking on sending Morrison to Triple-A New Orleans.
"We thought it was in the best interest for Logan to go down and work on things," Beinfest said. "He needs to concentrate on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer and work his way back."
Morrison, who was highly regarded as a hitter in the Minors, was batting just .249 when he was sent down. His offensive struggles were surprising to many, including Beinfest.
"I never thought we'd see Logan hitting in the .240s, ever," Beinfest said. "Obviously, he's a much better hitter than he's shown. I'm not going to pin that on it as a specific, but he needs to work on all aspects of being a Major Leaguer, and then he'll come back here."
The transaction came as a complete surprise to Morrison and his agent, Fred Wray.
Wray plans on discussing the situation with the MLB Players Association on Monday morning to see if there is any grounds for a grievance.
Reached by phone on Sunday night, Wray added: "Any speculation about a grievance is just that. But we do plan on consulting with the Players Association [Monday]."
The grievance process can be lengthy, and in the meantime, Wray added that Morrison is accepting the option and he plans on playing for the New Orleans Zephyrs. The agent said the outfielder is prepared to work on his game and hopes to be ready for a return to the big leagues whenever the team seems fit.
The Marlins optioned Morrison on a day the outfielder didn't attend a meet-and-greet with season ticket holders. Earlier in the day, the outfielder attended an autograph session that ran longer than scheduled.
Morrison on Saturday discussed the meet-and-greet with Wes Helms, the team's union representative. Helms informed the 23-year-old outfielder that he didn't have to attend the event.
When the Marlins optioned Morrison, the team also released Helms.
In addressing reporters earlier on Sunday, Beinfest did not refute claims that some off-the-field issues factored into Morrison being optioned.
"We had what we felt were solid, good reasons that we felt would be productive for him to go down," Beinfest said. "He just needs to concentrate on playing baseball and work his way back here."
The Marlins have a lot of confidence in Morrison, and they still believe he will reach the success they envision for him.
"He's going to be a good player for a long time," Beinfest said. "The talent is there and he's going to be a good player for a long time. We just thought it was the right thing to do for him."
Beinfest also spoke about the decision to release veteran Wes Helms. The Marlins brought Jose Lopez up from Triple-A to take Helms' spot on the bench.
"He did a great job for us for a long time, and we just wanted to try to improve the production off the bench," Beinfest said. "Lopez is hitting over .400 in Triple-A, so we thought we'd give him a shot and move Wes along. He's been very productive in a very tough role and very professional. We appreciate everything he's done."
While Helms still hopes to play a year or two, Beinfest could see him becoming a coach or manager in the future.
"He definitely has that kind of mind," Beinfest said. "He understands the game and figures things out. I wouldn't rule anything out, because he's made that way where you could see him coaching or managing some day."
David Villavicencio is a contributor for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.