Traded to Giants in offseason, infielder picked up by Marlins, hits double off wall in his first at-bat back
By Joe Frisaro
MIAMI -- The 2014 National League Comeback Player of the Year has come back to the Marlins. On Friday, the club announced the free-agent signing of Casey McGehee, who cleared release waivers earlier in the afternoon.
McGehee, who rejoins Miami after a disappointing 49-game stint with the Giants, nearly became a hero in the eighth inning of the Marlins' 1-0 loss to the Reds. As a pinch-hitter, he doubled off the wall with two outs.
"That's not my style to make it a storybook ending," McGehee said. "It's been a week and a half or so since I've seen live pitching. I really just tried to get a pitch I could put in play, just barrel something. I was able to do that."
To make room on the roster for the 32-year-old third baseman, the team placed infielder Jeff Baker on the 15-day disabled list with a left intercostal strain.
McGehee is expected to make his first start at third base for Miami on Saturday.
"Man, when he first hit it, it felt like it had a chance to get out of there," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said.
Statcast™ projected McGehee's drive at 397 feet from home plate. For a brief moment, McGehee thought he might have homered.
"For a minute ... but I remembered where I was at pretty quick, tough," the veteran said of spacious Marlins Park.
The Marlins traded McGehee to the Giants on Dec. 20, the day after they acquired third baseman Martin Prado from the Yankees. Prado, signed through 2016, is on the DL with a right shoulder injury. He is expected back shortly after the All-Star break. McGehee's arrival isn't a signal the Marlins are looking to trade Prado, who is part of the team's plans for next year.
"What Casey brings, he helped set a culture last year in this clubhouse," Jennings said. "Who he is, he's a winner. He's always been that guy. There is a constant about him. He started something last year that was huge."
Baker was injured on Tuesday at Boston, and he is unsure how long he will be out.
"I did it on a swing in Boston, and it's too much to where I can't play," he said. "I've got to get it right, get it fixed, get healthy and be good to go."
McGehee was an anchor on the Marlins in '14, batting .287 with 29 doubles, four homers and 76 RBIs. The Marlins plan on using McGehee at third base, first base and as a right-handed bat off the bench.
The veteran understands he has to produce to stay in the lineup. In 49 games with the Giants, he hit .213 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 127 at-bats.
"The situation over there, it changed," McGehee said. "I think it was probably a mutual thing to kind of move on. I'm glad there was an opportunity to come back here and try to win some games."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.