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Baseball Daily Dose

Dose: Surprise! Stanton's Back

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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The Marlins have been desperate for good news lately, and they received some prior to Tuesday’s game.

 

Giancarlo Stanton participated in a simulated game and ran the bases Tuesday, which was apparently good enough to convince the club he was ready to be activated from the disabled list. Stanton delivered a pinch-hit single in a loss to the Phillies.

 

"We had a feeling this was coming, honestly," manager Don Mattingly said. "It was something we were trying to downplay. Quite honestly, he wanted us to downplay it. But Giancarlo is not making the decision. Somebody is not allowing him because he wants to play. It's medical. It's the doctors saying he's been able to show us what he can do. We've seen him running. Again, we're talking about pinch-hitting. We're not talking about him being in right field three days from now. That's not going to happen. But I do expect it to happen at some point."

 

When Stanton went down with a Grade 3 groin strain on August 13, the feeling was that he could maybe return for the final week of the regular season. He’s obviously beat that timetable by a wide margin, although it’s up in the air as to when he might be ready to play the field. Mattingly noted that Stanton would not need a pinch-runner should be reach base, but the skipper then pinch-ran for the slugger after Tuesday's pinch-hit.

 

Stanton obviously needs to be scooped up in fantasy leagues where he might have been dropped, but owners will just have to wait and see when/if he’s cleared for outfield duty before they know how often they can stick him into their lineups. The Marlins surely know they’re assuming some risk by making him available now, but as a team that’s lost 10 of their last 11 after dropping another one Tuesday, they’re willing to take a shot.

 

Stanton isn’t the only hitter the Marlins got back Tuesday, as Justin Bour was also activated from the disabled list. Bour suffered a high right ankle sprain back on July 2 and went through a painfully slow recovery process. He’s ready to go now, though, and will start regularly down the stretch versus right-handers. The 28-year-old entered play Tuesday batting .273/.342/.512 with 39 home runs over 669 plate appearances against righties in his career.

 

Miami also got good news Tuesday on Marcell Ozuna, who hasn’t played at all this month because of a sore left wrist. The feeling had been that the outfielder wouldn’t be ready until at least Friday, but he’ll take batting practice Wednesday and apparently could be in the lineup later that night.

 

The Marlins are now sitting at three games under .500 and six games back for the second National League Wild Card spot, so they need all the help they can get to keep their playoff hopes alive.

 

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Amazing Abreu

 

Fellow American League Central slugger Brian Dozier has understandably been drawing all the headlines, but Jose Abreu is on quite a run himself of late.

 

Abreu hit another home run in Tuesday’s victory over the Tigers, taking Matt Boyd deep with a solo shot in his first at-bat (he also added a single in his next trip to the dish). It was his fifth longball in his last seven games and ninth in his last 19 contests.

 

The White Sox first baseman entered a game on August 4 against the Tigers with a disappointing .269/.326/.413 batting line and an underwhelming home run total of 11 across 104 contests. Needless to say, that’s not the kind of production you paid for when you used a second-round pick on Abreu in your draft this spring.

 

Abreu has taken off since then, hitting a blistering .375 with 12 taters over 31 games to push his season line to .294/.347/.480 with 23 dingers and 87 RBI. That’s more like it, Jose.

 

 

National League Quick Hits: Stephen Strasbug (elbow) has officially be cleared to rejoin the Nationals’ rotation on Wednesday against the Braves. He missed just over two weeks of action with a sore pitching elbow … Yadier Molina went 4-for-5 with a grand slam in Tuesday’s comeback victory over the Pirates … Jonathan Villar filled up the scorebook with a triple, a home run and a stolen base in a win over the Cubs on Tuesday … Anthony Rizzo homered twice and drove in three runs in a losing effort against the Brewers on Tuesday …  Anthony Rendon swatted his first career grand slam in Tuesday’s win over the Braves … Dansby Swanson had an inside-the-park home run for his first major league homer in Tuesday's loss to the Nationals … Steven Matz (shoulder) played catch on Monday. It’s the first time he’s thrown since he suffered a setback last week … Jung Ho Kang went 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs  Tuesday as the Pirates fell to the Cardinals … Ryan Braun went 2-for-5 with a home run, four RBI and three runs scored in Tuesday's defeat of the Cubs … Adam Morgan struck out five across six innings of one-run ball in Tuesday's 4-3 victory over the Marlins … Yoenis Cespedes ripped a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning of a victory over the Reds on Tuesday … Jeff Samardzija struck out nine while allowing two runs over seven innings Tuesday against the Rockies …

 

American League Quick Hits: Robinson Cano exited Tuesday’s game versus the Rangers with an apparent leg injury … Kendrys Morales homered twice and  drove in five runs in Tuesday’s blowout win over the Twins … Manny Machado went 3-for-6 with a grand slam and five RBI in Tuesday’s victory over the Rays … Elvis Andrus homered and hit three doubles in Tuesday's win over the Mariners ... Brian Dozier homered in his fifth consecutive game Tuesday, pushing his total for the season to 39 … Making his return after a month-long absence due to a groin ailment, Miguel Gonzalez held the Tigers scoreless over 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday … Trevor Plouffe was pulled from Tuesday’s game with a strained oblique … Lorenzo Cain (wrist) is aiming to return to the Royals' lineup this Friday. He hasn’t played all month due to a nagging left wrist injury … Ian Kinsler (finger) isn’t expected back in the lineup until Friday … Matt Duffy is set to undergo season-ending surgery on his left Achilles later this week … Edwin Encarnacion singled in a run and had a solo homer in Tuesday's loss to the Yankees … Clay Buchholz whiffed six over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in Tuesday’s win over the Padres … Marwin Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in Tuesday's victory over the Indians. … Chris Davis was 2-for-3 with a home run Tuesday before exiting with a sore left palm. He’s day-to-day … Carlos Santana singled and smacked a solo homer in Tuesday's loss to the Astros … Salvador Perez departed Tuesday after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch, but X-rays came back negative … Andrew Benintendi (knee) could play 1-2 rehab games this week before being activated from the disabled list. He's been fitted with a brace on his left knee that will allow him to return sooner than expected … Matt Shoemaker (head) was released from a local hospital in Seattle on Tuesday. He’s unlikely to pitch again this season … David Paulino will make his major league debut on Thursday against the Indians … Evan Longoria (hand) returned to the Rays’ lineup Tuesday … 

Ryan Boyer

Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for NBC Sports Edge. He can also be found on Twitter.