The Marlins are so desperate for offense that it seems like even an almost-healthy Giancarlo Stanton would be a boost. Many players are able to play through aches and pains. But manager Mike Redmond today said the Marlins don’t want Stanton to return until he is completely ready. "He has got to feel like he is 100 percent and he can go out there and be able to play for the long haul. We don’t want him coming back if he feels like ‘I can only play a couple of days and then I’m going to have to sit and take days off,’’’ Redmond said.
It’s hard to tell exactly where Giancarlo Stanton is in his comeback from a second-degree hamstring injury these days. One minute his manager is telling reporters the All-Star right fielder is backing off his rehab because of sore knees. The next, Stanton is seen running in the Marlins outfield during batting practice. Such was the case Thursday.
While the Marlins were losing their ninth straight on Thursday, Jake Marisnick was unleashing up in the Florida panhandle, belting two grand slams in back-to-back innings for Double A Jacksonville. This qualifies as reason for hope for the punchless Marlins.
onday marks the 10th anniversary of arguably the Marlins' most frustrating first-round draft pick in franchise history. Not frustrating in the sense of picking a player who failed to make it or didn't live up to initial expectations. There have been plenty of examples of those along the way: Josh Booty (1994) Jaime Jones (1995) Aaron Akin (1997) and Brett Sinkbeil (2006), just to name a few.
Before beginning his hitting streak, Marcell Ozuna said he fell into a bit of a rut at the plate when he took aim for the fences by trying to pull the ball. It was when he changed his approach by hitting toward the middle of the field that he said he began having success. "My mentality right now is keep (my average) at .300," said Ozuna.
With such a young team, a number of Miami players are getting on-the-job training. They're also getting some advice from a couple of all-time greats. Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez are special assistants in the Marlins' organization who work with the players on occasion. During the series with the Mets, Dawson was on the field offering pointers before batting practice.
Catcher Jeff Mathis was in the Marlins' lineup for a second straight day to work with rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez on Saturday. Mathis caught right-hander Jacob Turner in Friday night's 5-1 victory. Turner pitched seven scoreless innings with Mathis behind the plate. "I like him catching a couple of our younger guys," manager Mike Redmond said. "It's more comforting, I think, for our younger pitchers. Not that [Rob] Brantly can't do it."
Marlins manager Mike Redmond continues to be encouraged by Giancarlo Stanton's progress. Redmond threw batting practice to the injured right fielder (right hamstring strain) before Saturday's game. "He looked good," Redmond said. "He's getting close as well, which is exciting. Two days ago, I wasn't as excited, just wasn't sure where he was at. But he's pushing himself and he wants to play and he wants to be a part of this team."
Rebounding from his roughest outing, Jose Fernandez was simply at his best on Saturday afternoon. The 20-year-old was masterful over seven shutout innings, striking out eight and setting the tone in the Marlins' 8-1 win over the Mets at Marlins Park.
Around The League
Bernando LaPallo never thought he would live to see a new Yankee Stadium. He remembers going to games at Hilltop Park -- the Yankees' first home ballpark -- with his father when he was 9 or 10 years old, and he remembers when the first Yankee Stadium opened in 1923, but he never thought he'd have the chance to watch the Yankees call a third stadium home.
The preliminary report on Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg's injury came in on Saturday afternoon and while there is indeed an injury, it's not quite where originally reported. Strasburg flew back to Washington following Friday night's 3-2 win over the Braves, during which he was removed from the game with what was diagnosed as a strained right oblique after pitching a career-low two innings. Strasburg had an MRI on Saturday, and while the injury is near the oblique, it's not the oblique. "It's a lat and it's down low," said Nationals head trainer Lee Kuntz. "It also happens to be where your oblique comes around and inserts. The MRI showed that it was a lat strain. A Grade I lat strain."
Just when you think there's no more room on the disabled list, the Nationals seem to find room for one more. Saturday morning, the Nats added outfielder Bryce Harper to the list, retroactive to May 27. "You always do what's best for the player," said manager Davey Johnson. "If the club felt like he'd be ready to come back in three or four or five days, we wouldn't have DL'ed him. But I think in talking with Bryce, we've got to get by this where it's not a recurring thing."
Stephen Drew has been on the precipice of stardom so many times, it is easy to lose count. There was the time the Arizona Diamondbacks picked him 15th overall in the 2004 draft. He signed in 2005; by 2006, he was in the major leagues, and managed an O.P.S.+ of 117 in a half-season at shortstop. Then, following a massive step back in production in 2007, Drew recovered by posting a .291/.367/.502 line in 2008, seeming to solidify his spot as one of the better young shortstops in the game.
The Red Sox are paying Mike Napoli to be a run producer. However, the slugging first baseman has an even greater focus to what his true value to the team is. Napoli feels that he is David Ortiz's protector.
At Fish Stripes
Has the Marlins offense begun to improve, or have the Fish remained on a terrible pace? The numbers on a day-to-day basis imply stagnation and continuing problems.
Right-handed pitcher Tom Koehler has a miniscule earned run average but has yet to win a game as a result of a Miami lineup that has consistently struggled to score runs.
The Miami Marlins promoted Jacob Turner last night to make a start against the New York Mets, but he has struggled in Triple-A this season, especially with his strikeouts. But how much of it is a problem in 2013?