DENVER — An agonizing 0-for-31 slump. Pushed to the bench by an unproven rookie. Daily trade rumors in which his name is mentioned. These aren’t the best of times for Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
“It’s been unreal,” Ruggiano said. “I’m just dealing with something I’ve never had to deal with before.”
Ruggiano is within two more hitless at-bats of equaling Mike Jacobs’ club record for futility. Jacobs had 33 consecutive hitless at-bats.
But who knows when Ruggiano will bat again for the Marlins? The Marlins promoted rookie outfielders Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, which will limit his playing time going forward.
And there’s a good chance the Marlins will trade him before the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline.
Incredibly, despite his drought and a .202 batting average, Ruggiano continues to lead the Marlins in home runs (12) and RBI (32). He also has a dozen stolen bases, second only to Juan Pierre’s 18.
Ruggiano said neither manager Mike Redmond nor anyone one else has spoken to him about his immediate prospects.
“He doesn’t have to talk to me about it,” Ruggiano said. “The writing’s on the wall.”
Ruggiano tried to look on the bright side.
“I’m trying to get my swing feeling better and my body healthy,” said Ruggiano, who has been dealing with a shoulder issue. “I guess now is a good time to get all those things addressed, with the lack of playing time I’ll have. At the same time, I’ll be ready if they need me.”
An injury cost Donovan Solano his spot on the Marlins roster. A hitting slump by the second baseman who took his job, Derek Dietrich, has given it back to him.
“For me, I’m starting over,” said Solano, who returned to the starting lineup for the Marlins after Dietrich was optioned back to the minors.
Solano, the Marlins’ opening day second baseman, was riding a six-game hitting streak and had gone 10 for his previous 26 when an oblique injury landed him on the disabled list in early May. But instead of returning to the lineup after the injury healed, Solano was sent to the minors.
“That’s baseball,” Solano said. “When somebody gets hurt, it opens up a spot. I wasn’t angry. I just felt like. ... I can’t describe that feeling. It’s a bad feeling, because everybody wants to be here.”
While Solano was hitting .379 at Triple A New Orleans, Dietrich ran into a hitting slump that led to his demotion.
“When I got called up again, I was happy,” Solano said. “I just want to be here in the majors.”
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 4.15) at Colorado Rockies RHP Juan Niasio (6-4, 4.73), 3:10 p.m., Coors Field.
• Friday: Marlins RHP H enderson Alvarez (0-1, 3.28) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (9-2, 2.11), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Nathan Eovaldi is coming off his shortest outing of the season when he lasted only four innings against the Brewers, allowing a season-high 10 hits and six runs in the loss.