It took a while, but the puzzle pieces are finally coming together.
For the Miami Marlins, who have dealt with injury after injury after injury to begin the season, June could be a promising month. Coming off of one of the worst May performances in franchise history, the Marlins are hopeful that the youthful squad could turn things around in June.
Miami has struggled to find a permanent first baseman, however in the coming weeks, the concerns may become nonexistent.
Casey Kotchman, who signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Marlins, is expected to be the primary first baseman activated from the disabled list.
Following Kotchman is lefty Logan Morrison, who has recently played in several rehab games with the Jacksonville Suns. Reports on Morrison have been encouraging, and he is likely to join the team at some point this month.
Joe Mahoney, acquired on waivers on from Baltimore, has also been on a rehab assignment.
As far as Giancarlo Stanton, whose rehab has been erratic, manager Mike Redmond remains encouraged. Stanton took batting practice prior to Saturday afternoon'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."
Once both Morrison and Stanton return to Miami's lineup, Redmond will have decisions to make in terms of the way he wants to fill out the lineup card.
Outfield prospect Christian Yelich, who is batting .272 with an on-base percentage of .350, is expected to be called up at some point before the All-Star break, and many feel that Yelich could be Miami's leadoff hitter when he is promoted.
Second baseman Derek Dietrich is a candidate to hit second, and Redmond can put Morrison and Stanton in the three and four spots, depending on the pitcher on the mound, respectively.
Marcell Ozuna, who could make the switch to left field upon the arrival of Yelich, could serve as a number five hitter who would get opportunities with runners in scoring position.
When the time comes, the Marlins will have several decisions to make in terms of corresponding roster moves. Miami has been carrying three catchers, although Jeff Mathis and Rob Brantly have been getting most of the playing time.
Though he may not have much value, the team may also look to trade Juan Pierre to make room for Yelich.
Despite struggling throughout the season's first two months, Miami will soon be getting healthy, which they hope will also make them more competitive.