When asked several weeks ago if he would participate in the Home Run Derby for the second consecutive year, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton didn't hesitate before saying he would accept the invitation should he receive one.
As a result of some time on the disabled list, Jose Fernandez was chosen to represent the Marlins over Stanton. Many thought that if Stanton went on a late June run, he too might be an All-Star. However, Stanton is in the middle of slump despite not receiving a day off since he was activated from the disabled list on June 10.
Before Friday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Manager Mike Redmond was asked about giving Stanton a rest.
Redmond said that he will allow Stanton to choose when he needs a day off, and as of Friday, he had only asked for one.
"I talk to him every day about how he's feeling. He said, 'Great, he wants to play and he wants to be out there,' " Redmond said in a Sun-Sentinel interview. "You can kind of tell when a guy starts to drag a little bit out there and you have to get him some days."
Stanton hasn't allowed his struggles at the plate to affect him defensively. In Miami's 4-3 win over Atlanta on Thursday night, Stanton made a diving catch on a Dan Uggla fly ball with a man on first base that, if it wasn't caught, would have tied the game.
Stanton's troubles at the plate has not been easily noticed because of the success first baseman Logan Morrison is having in the cleanup spot. Morrison homered in the first two games against the Cardinals and has been consistently getting on base batting after Stanton.
Though he is batting just .244, Stanton's OBP in the three spot is .337. Redmond earlier said that he liked Stanton batting third because he "wanted to see him bat in the first inning."
"It's a little bit of over-swinging," Redmond said of Stanton's swing during the slump. "A couple of times [Thursday] you saw him go down to a knee. That's really not his swing. It's just trying to do a little too much, trying to swing a little too hard."
Stanton has continued to take extra batting practice with hitting coach Tino Martinez. With the success of Morrison and Marcell Ozuna, Stanton's bat warming up will only make Miami's lineup that much deeper.
"We'll play [the day off] by ear," Redmond said. "A lot of it's the presence, too. He just makes our lineup so much stronger and longer. But at the same time, too, we want him to stay healthy. We want him to be confident."