The Miami Marlins are a bit more optimistic than previously about their playoff aspirations upon finding out that Giancarlo Stanton might be available for some regular season time, hoping he can back before the end of September.
Suffering from a grade 3 strain in his groin, Stanton is aiming for the last week of September as his return date, hoping the six-week schedule assessment is the correct one. To be frank, it’s the most optimistic one possible, counting on the perfect rehab, which doesn’t always happen. Muscle injuries heal different for different people. This might be the Marlins and Stanton being overly optimistic, but the 26-year old slugger could be one of those who goes through miraculous healing processes when it comes to these kind of injuries.
Stanton, who won the home run derby this year, last appeared on August 13, in a 8-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Since then, they’ve gone 7-7, as they head into a crucial three-game road series against the New York Mets. The Marlins haven’t made the postseason since 2003, but they’re not far from erasing that era of shame. They’re not going to catch up with the Washington Nationals in the NL East, but in a tight and busy wild card race, they’re only 1.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who hold the second wild card. The Pittsburgh Pirates stand between them in the wild card standings.
Stanton didn’t make the All-Star game this season (three appearances before), batting a career low .244. His OPS also took a huge hit, down to .826, but he did hit 25 home runs in 432 plate appearances. That’s not quite the pace of last season, which ended too soon as well (only 74 games, but hitting 27 home runs), but he’s still a major power hitter in the majors, and especially for the Marlins, who are one of the worst teams in both leagues when it comes to slugging.