When the Miami Marlins signed third baseman Casey McGehee, you did not really know what you were going to get. McGehee was not in the majors in 2013, instead he was tearing the cover off the ball in the Japanese Pacific League with the Rakuten Golden Eagles. McGehee had a monster season in Japan, but got no press when he came back to the States.
Sitting in a lineup behind Giancarlo Stanton, McGehee has made every effort to drive in runs so far this season and has stepped up big time; bigger than when he was in the majors last with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees. The 31-year-old batted an incredible .297/.368/.376 with six doubles and 16 RBI. Surprisingly, he did not hit any home runs in April. However, he became an RBI machine.
Now, with pitchers having to worry about McGehee behind Stanton and even Marcell Ozuna at the top of the lineup, it opens up better pitches for Stanton to see. That has allowed Stanton to hit eight home runs to start the year and drive in a league-leading 33 RBI.
For McGehee to get back to the majors and play well is huge. He is playing the role of the perfect stop-gap before Miami decides to go with one of its top prospects in Colin Moran. It will allow Moran to grow more in the minors and not force the hand of ownership to call him up too early.
McGehee’s progress is really important on a lot of levels and for Miami to continue having success, he will need to keep this pace up.