The Miami Marlins simply cannot catch a break in terms of injuries. Just as one player returns from his ailment, another one suffers and is shelved temporarily. The Fish received good news yesterday when Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice without a hitch and was cleared for today's game versus the Cincinnati Reds.
"Stanton hit today, and he said things felt good," manager Mike Redmond said. "He should be good to go for tomorrow. That's a good sign, obviously. We all know how important he is to this lineup. That's good news. He felt better today."
Stanton had missed six games with a sore left shoulder following a diving play made two Saturdays ago versus the New York Mets. He played through the injury until it "pinched" on April 12, and he missed the last two series versus the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals as a result.
Stanton's return to the lineup should help the Marlins' struggling offense, but he himself is struggling (.167/.342/.233, .272 wOBA), so here's hoping he breaks out of the slump in the smaller Great American Ballpark.
Meanwhile, as Stanton recovers from his problem, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria suffers from a new one. Hechavarria felt some elbow tightness while throwing before yesterday's game and was pulled from the game as a result. Now Hechavarria may not make the road trip, leaving the Marlins with few remaining options at shortstop. Hechavarria was hitting .184/.231/.286 (.230 wOBA) until the injury, but he also just hit his first home run as a Marlin and first homer in Marlins Park the night before, so it was a little disappointing not to see him on the field.
Chris Valaika is expected to take his spot in the lineup, but the Marlins may flip-flop Valaika and starting second baseman Donovan Solano depending on how they feel about each players' defense. Valaika is hitting a robust .313/.353/.500 (.369 wOBA) in 17 plate appearances this season, doing his best Donnie Murphy impression.
It looks as though the Marlins will be dealing with even more injuries during an already difficult 2013 season.