Marcell Ozuna compares minor league stint to being 'in the jail'

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Marcell Ozuna was more than happy to be back with the Miami Marlins, comparing his recent minor league stint to being "in the jail."

Ozuna was recalled Saturday by the Marlins after spending nearly six weeks at Triple-A New Orleans.

"I was in the jail over there. It's like a jail," Ozuna told the Miami Herald. "But it's OK. I'm back, and I'm going to help the team, help Miami."

Ozuna, 24, was demoted to New Orleans on July 5 after being mired in a 1-for-36 slump. But the outfielder suggested that his struggles at the plate were not the only reason for his demotion.

"They tell me you're going down for work, get your feeling back and you come back," Ozuna told the Herald. "I know what happened when they sent me down."

Ozuna, who had 23 home runs and 85 RBIs last season, had been on pace to qualify for Super Two early arbitration for 2016 and would have been eligible for free agency in 2019. But due to his extended stay in the minors, Ozuna likely will not have enough service time in the majors to qualify for arbitration until 2017.

"I knew that's coming," Ozuna said. "I don't go [to New Orleans] for work, because [the Marlins] know me. I don't need the work; 1-for-36, 1-for-100 -- every big league player has it. I have it and everybody has it."

Ozuna's agent, Scott Boras, criticized Miami's decision to demote Ozuna in an interview with the Herald last month, accusing the organization of "not applying its best talent to try to win."

"Ozuna is a proven major leaguer, certainly deserving of being in the majors with the Marlins," Boras told the Herald. "I don't think anyone would look at the talent with the Marlins and suggest he's not one of the top 25 players in that organization.

"Major league players on the club are very upset about this issue. They've approached the manager on several occasions."

Ozuna batted .217 with five homers and 11 RBIs in 33 games at New Orleans.

"I'm not going to worry about the past," he said, according to "I'm going to worry about the present and try to finish strong."