JUPITER, Fla. -- Derek Dietrich, who handled the bulk of the starts at second base early last season, was among the latest wave of cuts the Marlins made Wednesday morning.
Along with Dietrich, Miami also optioned first baseman Justin Bour, catcher J.T. Realmuto, infielder Miguel Rojas and right-hander Andre Rienzo to Triple-A New Orleans. Left-hander Chris Narveson was reassigned to Minor League camp. Narveson, who was a non-roster invitee, must decide if he will accept the assignment or pursue another opportunity.
"These are guys who have had big league time, so that's a tough conversation," manager Mike Redmond said. "I'm sure they're wishing they were able to stay longer. But really at this point, they need to play."
The transactions reduced the number of players in camp to 44.
Redmond noted the Marlins' regulars will get a majority of the playing time in the final weeks of Spring Training, especially at home.
Dietrich, a left-handed-hitting infielder, is a 25-year-old with power. He had a walk-off home run on March 10 against the Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium. Defensively, he needs more consistency at a number of infield spots.
At New Orleans, Dietrich will play some second base, as well as third and first.
"I thought Dietrich had a nice spring," Redmond said. "He just needs to go down there and play and get more at-bats. He will go down there and play multiple positions, which is great. We all know what he is able to do with the bat."
Realmuto, Miami's No. 2-ranked prospect, is considered the organization's catcher of the future. He moves up to Triple-A after he was part of Double-A Jacksonville's Southern League title team last year.
Minor League games are starting up this week, and all these players will immediately fall into their roles on what should be a strong New Orleans squad.
Bour will be used at first base, but Dietrich could also see some time at the position. Rienzo, who can relieve, will be part of the Zephyrs' rotation.
Rojas is a slick-fielding shortstop. Although he will start off at New Orleans, if Adeiny Hechavarria were to be injured for an extended amount of time, Rojas would be the likely candidate to be called up to play regularly in the big leagues.
"I guess the message to those guys is to be ready, prepare themselves and get better," Redmond said.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.