MIAMI -- Terry Collins said his modest lineup shakeup Monday at Marlins Park had to do with opposing pitcher Nate Eovaldi’s domination of righty hitters as well as concern Juan Lagares’ legs were wearing down.
So lefty hitters Omar Quintanilla and Bobby Abreu and switch hitter Eric Young Jr. are starting and righty hitters Chris Young, Lagares and Ruben Tejada are on the bench -- even though C.Y. and Lagares combined to hit .389 (14-for-36) during the four-game series at Coors Field.
Lefty batters are hitting .325 against Eovaldi this season. Righty batters are hitting .127.
Collins said Monday's lineup is not an indication Quintanilla would start chipping away at Tejada's playing time, even though it marked Quintanilla's second straight start at shortstop.
“This guy is eating up right-handed hitting,” Collins said about Eovaldi.
Lagares had started four straight games since returning Thursday from a DL trip to mend a pulled right hamstring. Collins intended to give him off Sunday, but E.Y. Jr. took a ball off his right cheekbone pregame in Denver and was scratched.
E.Y. Jr. complained of a headache Sunday but passed concussions tests. He is now due to start in the series opener against the Marlins -- his first start since before Lagares’ DL activation.
“He’s hit. He said he feels fine,” Collins said Monday afternoon, referring to indoor work in a batting cage at Marlins Park. “Now, we’re going to check him during batting practice. If there’s any dizziness or any fogginess, if he’s lightheaded at all, I’ll get him out of there.”
As for Lagares sitting despite three hits Sunday and four doubles in the four-game series against the Colorado Rockies, Collins said: “We talked when the game was over last night, and one of the coaches thought Juan’s legs looked like they might be getting tired. He was doing a lot of stretching during the game in the outfield. He said he’s fine. We talked about giving him a day yesterday anyway. Until E.Y. got hurt, he was going to get yesterday off.”
Collins added that it is easier to start Abreu in a big outfield at Marlins Park with Jonathon Niese on the mound, since the southpaw is proficient at getting groundballs.