The Miami Marlins have struggled on offense all throughout the past few seasons, but at least in 2015, they will get their best hitter back for the final month. Giancarlo Stanton is expected to return to the Marlins' lineup in two weeks according to FOX Sports Florida's Craig Minervini.
@Giancarlo818 says he'll be back in "a week and a half". Wrist getting stronger. Marlins play NYMets at home Friday, Sept. 4— Craig Minervini (@CraigMinervini) August 25, 2015
This is good news for Stanton, who is recovering from a broken hamate bone in his right hand that had limited his ability to play and prevented him from participating in yet another All-Star Game. Stanton has been out since late June with the injury, and while it was initially expected to take four to six weeks to properly recover, it appears it will take about nine weeks to get full recovery. Stanton had suffered a setback in his injury recovery and it took a little more time to get him back on the field.
The Marlins should be happy to see Stanton back out there. The club has a difficult task trying to estimate how good it will be in 2016 in order to formulate an offseason plan, and it will want Stanton and Jose Fernandez back from injury and playing at their best in order to see a sneak preview of the 2016 campaign. In addition, it will be good to have the team's two franchise talents front and center at the end of the year for a team that already has difficulty goosing attendance.
The fans should be happy to see Stanton back out there. Before his injury, he was one of the only reasons to watch this latest edition of the underperforming Fish. Stanton had 27 home runs and was leading the majors in long balls before the unfortunate hamate injury. Stanton has missed almost 50 games this year and is slated to miss more than two months' worth of play, which represents the longest stretch of time he has been away from the team for any one DL stint. In 2012, Stanton went down at a similar time for an arthroscopic right knee cleanup and came back in enough time to hit 10 homers in 88 plate appearances in August before similarly tearing it up in September. This season, he is slate to miss more games than he ever did before for any of his lower-body injury concerns.
The 27 home runs are relevant only because he is still peripherally in the home run race in the big leagues. The monstrous season that Bryce Harper is having has still only yielded 31 home runs, good for the National League lead. Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, and Todd Frazier are also ahead of Stanton with 30, 30, and 29 homers respectively. The fight for the top home run crown, a title that Stanton has held once for the National League, would be a pretty arduous climb, but if there is one player who could pull it off, it is Stanton. He should get close to a full month of September in which to play, and Stanton has hit up to 13 homers in a single month in his career.
More importantly, it will just be fun to see him do stuff like this all over again.
There is the race for the NL home run title, there is the race to reach 40 home runs or even 42 homers to break Gary Sheffield's team record for a single season. But most importantly, there is the simple fan joy of watching one of the best players in baseball do what he does best. Stanton is coming back in a few weeks, and I cannot wait.