Outfielder Lewis Brinson was optioned to the New Orleans Baby Cakes on May 2 by the Miami Marlins after batting .197 (15-of-76) with 28 strikeouts.
He then proceeded to go 7-for-31 (.194) in his first nine games with the Baby Cakes through May 11, the first game of the home series against San Antonio, in which he went 0-for-2.
After that, however, Brinson went 5-for-12 (.417) and was 5-for-14 (.358) in the four-game series. He is batting .256 with New Orleans.
“I'm just taking a step back, trying to regroup and go back to what works for me as a player,” he said. “I've been getting in a better position, trusting myself a little more and kind of blocking out the outside noise.”
Brinson, 6-feet-3, 195 pounds, was a first-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers — 29th overall — 2012 from Coral Spring (Fla.) High School. He was seen as a potentially being able to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season.
He showcased that potential in 2013 with Single-A Hickory, when he hit 21 home runs and had 24 stolen bases in 122 games. He hit just .237, though. The next season, however, he batted .335 with 10 homers and seven stolen bases in 43 games before being promoted to Advanced-A Myrtle Beach.
Coming to New Orleans reunited Brinson with Cakes hitting coach Justin Mashore, who was his hitting coach when they were with Hickory. The two often can be seen in the hall outside Mashore's office going over mechanics and talking approach.
“We watched film and talked,” Brinson said. “I just had to get ready (to swing at pitches) earlier. I was not giving myself a chance to swing at pitches I want to swing at, recognizing balls I can hit. I'm just getting in better position to hit, getting ready for that fastball.
“'Mash' was one of my first hitting coaches when I was with the Rangers. I trust him a lot. We were kind of going back on what we were working on back then. He told me to take my 'A' swing every time.
“Now, I'm just swinging at good pitches. I was getting myself out up there (Miami), swinging at balls and missing the strikes. Down here, I'm just swinging at strikes.”
In the trade with Milwaukee, the Marlins sent All-Star Christian Yellich to Milwaukee for Brinson — baseball's overall No. 13 prospect — right-hander Jordan Yomahoto and Baby Cakes teammates Monte' Harrison and Isan Diaz in January 2018. Yellich was selected MVP last season.
In 2016, Brinson was traded from Texas to Milwaukee for All-Star catcher Jonthan Lucroy.
The Baby Cakes and the Iowa Cubs are scheduled to play a doubleheader Thursday due to the April 10 game at Iowa being canceled by cold weather. … Heading into Sunday's game, the Cakes had gone nine consecutive games without committing an error. First baseman Austin Dean committed one Sunday, and third baseman Yadiel Rivera had one on Monday. … Iowa (24-15) leads the American Northern Division but is 9-9 at home and 15-5 on the road. The Cubs' home earned-run average is 4.26 compared to .380 on the road. … Iowa is 18-0 when scoring six runs or more. … In their most recent series, the Cubs were swept by third-place Omaha.