Marlins Slugger Sidelined

The Miami Marlins were scheduled to be represented in the M.L.B. All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. That is no longer the case. Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery early Sunday morning. Team President David Samson is outraged by the fact that the Marlins are no longer represented at the All-Star festivities. He mentioned that if Stanton had to have surgery that Major League Baseball should have chosen another player from the Marlins roster so the team can still be represented. Instead, M.L.B. went with Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. Reports are that Giancarlo’s surgery went well. Skipper Ozzie Guillen expects the Marlins young stud outfielder to be out anywhere from four to six weeks.

Giancarlo was set to represent the Fish in the Home Run Derby as well as the actual All-Star Game. Stanton was an early favorite to win the derby. Giancarlo recently sat out a couple of games with right knee soreness. He returned to the lineup on Saturday in St. Louis and tweaked the knee again making a running catch deep in the outfield.

There is more than one loser as a result of Stanton’s injury. The most obvious is Stanton himself. He will be unable to participate in his first All-Star selection. The second loser is the team. Although the Marlins have had a few guys that deserved to be All Stars, Giancarlo was the lone Marlin representative. The likes of Omar Infante (who has been brilliant this season) and fan favorite Jose Reyes were left off of the National League team. Another loser has to be “The Franchise”. The Marlins are the subject of the hit Showtime series. The documentary had plans to follow Giancarlo Stanton and teammate Logan Morrison around Kansas City as they take in the All-Star experience. The show’s plans hit a huge snag with the injury to Stanton. Now, plans are to follow Morrison around his hometown of Kansas City. Far less interesting to say the least. Speaking of a decrease in interest, the Home Run Derby itself is also a loser. There was a lot of hype coming into the derby. Fans were excited to see young sluggers Stanton of the N.L. and Trumbo of the A.L. battle it out for Home Run supremacy.

As for what Stanton’s in jury means for the Marlins beyond the All-Star game, Emilio Bonifacio will replace Giancarlo in the outfield while he’s on the disabled list. Bonifacio is coming off of injury himself. By getting him back, the Fish add much needed speed to the top of the lineup. Before his injury Emilio was atop the majors in stolen bases and stolen base percentage without being caught. The Marlins desperately need his aggressiveness back on the base paths to get in scoring position. Though, without Stanton, the Marlins lose a significant amount of power in the lineup. The Fish will likely have to play small ball in his absence. Marlins fans will likely see an increase in stolen bases, hit and runs, and sacrifice bunts.

The Marlins had a very disappointing first half of the season. President David Samson also voiced his frustration about the inconsistency of the team in the same interview mentioned previously, “The inconsistency is what bothered us the most the first half… I think when you talk about all the excitement going into the season, that’s what leads to this level of disappointment because you don’t expect to be below .500 at the break”. The Fish are built to win now. It is imperative for them get back on track and get off to a strong start in the second half of the season. The Marlins need to get some W’s in rapid succession to gain confidence. When this team is confident they can beat anyone at any given time. They proved it in May when they went a franchise best 21-8. As of now, the Marlins are 3 games under .500 (41-44) and sit 9 games behind the first place Nationals. The Fish currently sit 18 games out of the Wild Card as well. They need to win games and quickly before they get left in the dust, in this, the inaugural season of Marlins Park.

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