Fish Bites: Injury Bug Plagues Marlins Early

MIAMI, FL - MAY 24: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins hits a solo home run during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Marlins Park on May 24, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Despite being the hottest team in baseball (record wise) throughout the month of May, the Marlins have recently seen something common of their past: Injuries and Inconsistencies.

Early in the week, the Marlins placed starting center fielder Emilio Bonifacio on the 15 day disabled list with an injured right thumb. Both Bonifacio and Guillen believed that Boni, who leads the National League with his 20 stolen bases, would be able to come of the disabled list as soon as his 15 day stint ended. However, as of Thursday night, Bonifacio's injured thumb will require surgery and as a result he will be out of the starting lineup for 4-6 more weeks.

Austin Kearns, who made the team out of spring training, had been swinging a hot bat both off the bench and when he was in the starting lineup facing a lefty. Kearns had several key hits in a Marlins victory over Jamie Moyer and the Rockies. Kearns injured his hamstring in the final game of the series, and now will join Bonifacio on the 15 day disabled list.

Corresponding roster moves were made, as the Marlins called up several outfielders, including Bryan Petersen, Kevin Mattison, and Chris Coghlan, from AAA New Orleans, but the production will be hard to match. Young players will have a tough time getting on base as much as Bonifacio did, and right handed production off the bench late in the game might not be a strength any longer.

Starting pitchers have been going deep into games, and the bullpen has been recording key outs. Although pitching has been a plus, runs may not come easily for Miami any longer.

-On Thursday night, the Marlins lost what manager Ozzie Guillen called "the worst played game of the season", a 14-7 contest against the San Francisco Giants. Anibal Sanchez got knocked around and the defense did not play well behind him. Giancarlo Stanton hit crushed another ball, and lit up the home run sculpture for the second time on the homestand that is not yet halfway over.

-After Thursday's loss, the Marlins optioned lefty Mike Dunn to AAA for the second time this season. Dunn's ERA is above 9. No corresponding move was made. A Gaby Sanchez call-up, according to multiple sources, is possible.

-Donovan Solano became the 12th native Colombian to make it to the major leagues after he recorded his first major league hit on Tuesday. Solano may be used more due to all of the injuries.

-Ricky Nolasco earned win number 69 on Tuesday night, which now gives him the most wins by a pitcher in Marlins history. Nolasco was tied with Dontrelle Willis entering the night.

-With his grand slam on Monday night, Giancarlo Stanton is just one of four major league players to hit four grand slams before their 23rd birthday. The other three: Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, and Ken Griffey Jr.

-The Marlins look to bounce back on Friday night as Josh Johnson will square off against Tim Lincecum. The Fish hadn't lost back-to-back games until losing the previous two. With a 16-7 May record, the Marlins will look to continue to play well, as an atrocious June ended their playoff hopes early in 2011.

-Juan Carlos Oviedo's visa has been finalized, however president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest would not comment on the matter, aside from saying that nothing is finalized. With Heath Bell as their closer, the Fish may look to trade Oviedo.

-Carlos Zambrano, who entered his Tuesday night start among the league leaders in earned run average, got knocked around on Wednesday in a loss to the visiting Rockies.

Around The League

-The Baltimore Orioles are reportedly close to giving Adam Jones a club-record contract extension. According to FoxSports.com, the deal will easily surpass the two other big contracts given in O's history.

-Albert Pujols hit his 450th career home run and starter Dan Haren pitched a gem, recording 14 strikeouts, as the Angels beat the Mariners 3-0.

-It appears Adam Dunn has been comfortable in Chicago, as he is among the AL leaders in home runs. Former Marlins Alejandro De Aza, who the White Sox claimed off of waivers, hit a grand slam on Thursday night.

At Fish Stripes

-Jose Reyes has become patient at the top of the lineup, however Hanley Ramirez is still not hitting balls out of the Park. Ramirez did improve is slugging percentage by .110 in May, though.

-Reyes has drawn many walks in the leadoff spot this year, something he didn't do early on with Mets. He is also getting deeper into counts.

-Prospect Brent Keys is someone to watch, as he is hitting.400 in Class A ball.

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