MIAMI -- Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee had some time to visit with old familiar faces this weekend while the Brewers were in town for a three-game series at Marlins Park.
McGehee played for the Brewers from 2009-11. An injury to Rickie Weeks gave McGehee a chance to step into a starting role for Milwaukee in 2010, and McGehee made the most of the opportunity and went on to have a stellar season for the Brewers. He had a .285 batting average with 23 home runs and team-leading 104 RBIs in 157 games and was voted the Brewers' MVP that season.
Things sort of went south for McGehee the next couple of years, however. His batting average fell to .223 in 2011, and his season totals in home runs (13) and RBIs (67) also dropped considerably. He led NL third basemen in errors with 20. After the 2011 season he was traded to the Pirates, and in July 2012 he was dealt to the Yankees, who a month later optioned him to Class A Charleston before recalling him when rosters expanded in September. Last year, McGehee played in Japan.
The Marlins signed McGehee to a one-year deal last Dec. 18, and so far he is showing signs of having found his old form. He entered Sunday's game against the Brewers with a .287 batting average and 30 RBIs (tied for eighth in the NL). Although he has cranked only one home run, McGehee has been delivering in clutch situations.
The 31-year-old third baseman had a .407 batting average with runners in scoring position entering Sunday, second on the Marlins behind only slugging Giancarlo Stanton (.421 RISP). McGehee also ranked third among MLB third basemen in multihit games with 16.
"I think I just got back to my approach that I kind of lost for a while," McGehee said before Sunday's series finale against the Brewers. "Just trying to hit to the big part of the field, don't worry about hitting the ball out of the ballpark. Just trying to hit the ball hard. I think that's the big thing, just getting back to my approach."
McGehee said it was good to see some of his old teammates from Milwaukee this weekend and that he had "nothing but good things to say about them and the organization." It also was a chance to think back for a moment on the best year of his MLB career, so far.
Valuing doubles, Marlins hitting more homers
MIAMI -- Setting off the colorful 73-foot home run sculpture in center field should not be the objective for batters at spacious Marlins Park.
The Marlins' approach to one of the most spacious stadiums in the big leagues, as outlined by Garrett Jones, is to think small and see if bigger things happen.
"I think we're a better team when we think doubles in the gap, line drives up the middle, and keeping our line-drive approach," first baseman Garrett Jones said. "We're going to do more damage that way and score more runs that way than trying to hit home runs every time."
The Marlins have indeed hit their share of home runs at home, in a vast contrast from 2013, when the club struggled for runs in general. A year ago, Miami hit just 36 home runs at home, and 95 overall.
The Marlins have improved their offense, and Jones was one of the additions to provide some power from the left side.
"We definitely have power," Jones said. "I think we're more of a doubles, gap team that's going to hit some home runs. We've got some strong guys and guys who can hit the ball out of the park on a mistake pitch."
Giancarlo Stanton's immense power gets the most attention. Rightfully so, as the slugger paces the National League with 14 homers, with nine in Miami.
But Jones and Marcell Ozuna have each chipped in with eight. Jarrod Saltalamacchia has chipped in with six, and Derek Dietrich has five.
The Marlins will be counting on run support to help a young rotation, which is now without ace Jose Fernandez.
"For us it is about remaining consistent and having consistent at-bats, and trusting our pitchers," Jones said. "They're keeping us in a lot of ballgames, overall. It's up to us to manufacture runs -- have good at-bats, and manufacture runs any way we can."
Marlins honor breast cancer survivor
MIAMI -- The Marlins paid tribute Sunday to breast cancer survivor Beth Armstrong, who was selected as the team's Honorary Bat Girl for 2014.
Armstrong, who turns 40 this year, learned she had breast cancer in 2010, leading her to undergo a double mastectomy in 2011. She has had five surgeries since and is fully reconstructed and cancer free.
Armstrong, who said her three sons were her motivation to endure the entire process, has organized Pink Passion Week teams for Race for the Cure and Relay for Life for FPL at Turkey Point, where she is employed.
As part of MLB's Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative, Armstrong was recognized Sunday by the Marlins, who were on the road for Mother's Day and unable to salute her then, with an official MLB pink bat and jersey before the series finale against the Brewers.
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.