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Giancarlo Stanton on the right path to recovery for Marlins

Giancarlo Stanton has already made his mark on the Marlins. And he's ready for an encore in 2015.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It was typical Thursday night in the regular season. The Brewers were set to take on the Miami Marlins at Miller Park on September 11th, 2014. The game was going perfectly fine until in the fifth inning the Marlins' prized slugger Giancarlo Stanton stepped up to the plate to face Milwaukee pitcher Mike Fiers with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs. Fiers kicks and delivers an 0-1 fastball inside to Stanton. The ball cuts too far inside and smacks Stanton directly in the cheek underneath the left eye with an eighty-eight mile per hour fastball and sends Stanton tumbling to the ground.  Fiers covers his head in horror of the scene unfolding as one of the games bright young stars lying on the ground at home plate writhing in pain.

Giancarlo was carted off and taken to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with several lacerations. Stanton needed five teeth either fixed or replaced. The gruesome injury led to excessive bleeding and swelling in Stanton's facial area, while he was being carted off Stanton believed he was going to die due to swallowing so much of his own blood.

Now, six months removed from the injury, Giancarlo has signed the largest contract in American Sports history, a $315 million mega-deal, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and become one of the biggest most recognizable faces in baseball. With the $315 million deal Stanton is depending on the Marlins as much as the Marlins are depending on him. Giancarlo made his position clear that he had signed the deal to win and not just to make money. The Marlins appeased him by bringing in veteran players such as Dee Gordon, and Mat Latos in an effort to win as soon as possible.

I want to win and I want to win in Miami-Giancarlo Stanton

The Marlins' success this season comes down to Stanton's health. Both the Marlins and Stanton believe that he is healthy and ready to go for the 2015 season. Stanton has started wearing a new face mask to protect his left cheek and jaw to avoid further injury. For this first time since the injury Stanton has faced live pitching and has responded to it well. His plate approach does not seem to have changed very much due to the injury. Stanton himself  is pleased with his first at bats of the Spring and is confident he has made a full recovery.

After Thursday’s game, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he wasn’t nervous about how Stanton would react the first time the slugger stepped in the batter’s box.

“He looked great,” Redmond said. “His at-bats were good. His takes were good. His pitch selection was good. He looked fine.”

Stanton posted a slash line of .288/.395/.555 along with clubbing 37 home runs and picking up 105 RBIs. Needless to say, he's the Marlins' most dynamic player. The Marlins need Stanton to continue his already stout production in 2015 to be successful. While most mega-deals have the reputation to be career killers for both GMs and the player Stanton has showed the motivation to not fall into the trap of money. After years of struggling and rebuilding, it's all about winning in Miami, and Stanton is the driving force.