Nearing return to Majors, Ozuna sprains wrist

Nearing return to Majors, Ozuna sprains wrist

ATLANTA -- The anticipated return of Marcell Ozuna has been put on hold, as the outfielder sprained his left wrist on Saturday night while playing for Triple-A New Orleans. The 24-year-old, who was Miami's Opening Day center fielder, had been getting closer to being called back to the big leagues.

Ozuna was optioned to New Orleans on July 5 after being mired in a 1-for-36 slump.

"Just based on the medical, he's got a sprained wrist," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "He got it sliding into the base."

Prior to being optioned, Ozuna's slash line was .249/.301/.337 with four home runs and 26 RBIs. At New Orleans, Ozuna has been working on refining his swing. In recent weeks, he's shown great improvement, batting .303 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in 30 games.

Ozuna started for the Zephyrs on Saturday night against Round Rock, and he singled in his one at-bat in the second inning. But he jammed his wrist sliding into a base during the inning, and he was replaced in center field before the start of the fourth.

There has been much speculation surrounding why Ozuna has had such an extended stay at New Orleans. In 2014, his first full season in the big leagues, Ozuna belted 23 home runs and drove in 85 runs.

Miami's outfield already is thin, with slugger Giancarlo Stanton on the disabled list with a broken left hamate bone. Stanton's return is likely more than one week away.

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.