MIAMI -- Mired in an 0-for-17 slump, Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison was out of the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Rays, and he will be on the bench again Saturday.
"I want to give him a couple days just to go back to what he was," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "It's not a punishment, it's not anything. I think he needed a break, mentally and physically."
Greg Dobbs got his fifth start of the season at first base in Morrison's place.
Morrison has seen his batting average dip to .216, which is the lowest it has been since April 12, when he was hitting .188 after his fifth game of the season. Through the first week of June, Morrison is just 3-for-24. In May, he hit just .176 with 19 strikeouts.
Morrison will continue to work on his swing in the batting cages and during batting practice while working with Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez during the next couple of days. Guillen hopes the extra work and mental break will help Morrison return to being the same player who hit 23 homers and drove in 72 runs a year ago.
"We cannot win without LoMo hitting well," Guillen said. "He's batting fifth, protecting one of the best hitters in the game right now in the National League ... one of the most dangerous hitters [in Giancarlo Stanton], and we need his help."
While Morrison was out of the lineup, Austin Kearns, who was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Thursday night, was back in left field. Kearns had been playing left since Gaby Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on May 19 and Morrison took over everyday duties at first.
Kearns was sidelined with a strained right hamstring, and Guillen said the plan is to ease him back into the lineup and not play him on consecutive days to prevent the injury from being re-aggravated.
"For sure it's not back-to-back days," Guillen said. "Last time we tried that, he was gone. ... He'll play left field a lot. You're going to see a lot of action with him."
Marlins send message with roster move
MIAMI -- More than a roster move was made after the Marlins lost, 8-2, to the Braves on Thursday night.
The team also sent a signal to others on the roster who are struggling.
Outfielder Bryan Petersen was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, but the decision easily could have been Chris Coghlan, who is batting .163 with one home run and 10 RBIs.
"A tough decision, because, to be honest with you, it could be either one," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That is a message for another player. It could be either one."
Following Thursday's game, Guillen met for 45 minutes with members in the front office.
- 142 wins
- 110 wins
Guillen didn't speak with the media following the game because the meeting took a while. But the manager made it clear that several other players should be aware that more is expected.
"The reason I didn't talk to the media yesterday is because there were like seven names involved in the meeting," Guillen said. "We had to pick one. Unfortunately, it was Petey. I think the team is better than we are right now."
Petersen was hitting .212 while getting steady playing time in center field.
Miami made a position-player move to make room for outfielder Austin Kearns, who was reinstated from the disabled list, where he had been out with a strained right hamstring.
"It's a warning," Guillen said. "The meeting was 45 minutes for one player. That means there were a few players involved in the meeting. They better step it up.
"In case, if they don't know, be aware. You never know what's going to happen. They better look themselves in the mirror and say, 'Why Petey and not me?' It took a little while to make this move. Believe me."
The Marlins also optioned lefty reliever Dan Jennings to New Orleans, and on Friday they recalled right-hander Sandy Rosario.
Miami has one lefty in the bullpen now, Randy Choate. Edward Mujica is an option to face left-handed hitters.
Stanton celebrates two-year MLB anniversary
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton celebrated an anniversary on Friday night.
Exactly two years ago, the slugger made his MLB debut.
On June 8, 2010, Stanton (then going by Mike) was a 20-year-old who took the field for the first time when the Marlins faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
In a relatively short big league career, Stanton is emerging into a force. He enters Friday night batting .296 with 14 home runs and 41 RBIs this season.
"Growth, maturity. I think he's getting a lot better every day," Marlins hitting coach Eduardo Perez said. "The beauty of it is, everybody talks about his home runs. I see him more as a line-drive hitter.
"I'm seeing him hit a lot more line-drive home runs. When he first came up, you'd see a lot of mammoth, high-fly ball shots. He's worked more on his line-drive skill. That's making him more of a dangerous hitter. You can tell by his average. You can tell by his approach with runners in scoring position. It's a lot better."
Since Stanton debuted, his 70 home runs is tied with Prince Fielder for the fifth most in the big leagues over that span.
Jose Bautista has hit the most in that timeframe (94). Curtis Granderson (79) follows, and Albert Pujols and Mark Teixeira each have 74.
Stanton stands in elite company in his relatively short time in the big leagues.
The pure power, of course, is there. But he's also standing among the best in the game in categories other than home runs. His .535 slugging percentage, for instance, ranks up there with Pujols' .538 since June 8, 2010.
"He's growing at a rapid pace," Perez said.
Reyes glad to get first homer out of the way
MIAMI -- It was only a matter of time before Jose Reyes hit his first home run as a Marlin. It came on Thursday night, when the four-time All-Star went deep on his 222nd at-bat.
What he wouldn't have guessed was the first homer would come while he batted right-handed.
A switch-hitter, Reyes has so many more chances batting from the left side. Entering Friday night, he had 161 at-bats hitting lefty, compared to 62 right-handed.
His homer on Thursday was off Atlanta southpaw Mike Minor.
"I thought it would be lefty, too," Reyes said. "I guess not. I'll take it from either side."
Reyes certainly isn't worried about home runs. He has 82 in his career, with 60 off right-handed pitchers.
"It's always good to get the first one, get it out of the way," Reyes said. "That's something I wasn't looking for. It just happened."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.