For the fourth time in six seasons, Marlins outfielder and slugger Giancarlo Stanton will not be able to play at least 145 games in a season because of injury. Stanton hurt his groin while trying to extend a single into a double on Saturday night against the Chicago White Sox.
Stanton’s injury is being deemed "serious," as he strained his groin. Stanton has also been plagued by hip problems all season long. For the six seasons he’s been on the team, Stanton has only been able to play at least 145 games twice (2011, 2014). From late May all the way through June, Stanton had a massive hitting slump, and his batting average was down in the .190s at one point in June.
Stanton’s bat started to come around, though, especially after he won the Home Run Derby in July. Stanton has raised his average to .244, and he’s hit 25 home runs, including one on Saturday. Stanton also had 70 RBI’s in 381 at-bats. Miami’s roster has depleted quite quickly over these last few days, as it is without Stanton for the rest of the season, and both Adam Conley and A.J. Ramos are both on the 15-day DL. From this point on, what will the Marlins do with outfield? Obviously Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna will remain the starters in their positions for now, but what will they do to fill the void in right field?
The Marlins could make it easy on themselves by continuing to start Ichiro in right field. However, even though he’s in great shape, can he play pretty much every day at the age of 42? Probably not, which means they are going to need someone that can back Ichiro up. Miami has two utility guys in Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas that can play pretty much any position, but who knows if they can consistently be the back-up to Ichiro. The only outfielder not on the major league that is on the 40-man roster is Yefri Perez, who could potentially be called up in September when the rosters expand.
The Marlins could look outside of their organization to find a replacement for Stanton. Carlos Gomez was just designated for assignment by the Houston Astros, which means the Marlins could work on a trade to try and get him to Miami. Gomez naturally plays in center field, but he could provide some much needed depth for the Marlins. Gomez hasn’t been playing well at all, as he’s batting just .210 with five homers and 29 RBI’s, but he is a two time All-Star. Gomez has 108 homers and 429 RBI’s in his career, so if he can play like his normal self, the Marlins might be back in business.