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Marlins expected to re-sign Austin Kearns to minors deal

Austin Kearns

Miami Marlins’ Austin Kearns watches his home run in the ninth inning of the home opener baseball game with the Philadelphia Phillies Monday, April 9, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Marlins won 6-2. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

AP

Last season Austin Kearns turned a minor-league contract with the Marlins into a part-time bench role and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the 33-year-old outfielder is expected to re-sign on another minor-league deal.

Kearns appeared in 87 games and logged 175 plate appearances, hitting .245 with a .733 OPS. That doesn’t sound like particularly good production, but considering the Marlins’ pitcher-friendly ballpark it was actually right around league-average and included a strong .366 on-base percentage that was Kearns’ highest since he got on base at a .407 clip as a 22-year-old rookie in 2002.

With the Marlins expected to start Juan Pierre, Justin Ruggiano, and Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield Kearns figures to see most of his playing time subbing for Pierre versus left-handed pitching.