Marlins notes: Stanton third in voting among NL outfielders
MIAMI — Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton moved up to third among National League outfielders in the latest All-Star voting update.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig (935, 276) and the Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (883,186) came in ahead of Stanton (863,307) as of Tuesday afternoon. Stanton was fourth last week.
Stanton leads the NL in home runs (16) and RBI (51). He became the first player in franchise history to drive in 50 runs before June 1. The 24-year-old also ranks eighth in batting average (.313).
According to ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, Stanton blasted the longest dinger of the season — 484 feet — on April 4 against the San Diego Padres. He also leads the majors with an average true distance of 432.3 feet.
”He’s hit probably the longest home runs this season,” reliever A.J. Ramos said. ”I’d figure you’d want to see that in the All-Star Game. He can’t do much more on the baseball field. He’s made some diving catches, good plays, monster home runs.”
The Marlins have had just two players voted in as starters for the Midsummer Classic — shortstop Hanley Ramirez (2008-10) and third baseman Gary Sheffield (1993).
Casey McGehee, who leads all NL third basemen with 36 RBI, is not in the top 5 at his position.
This year’s All-Star Game will be played on July 15 at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins.
”I’m pumped for him,” manager Mike Redmond said. ”I think everyone realizes how exciting of a player this guy is, how much he brings not only to our team but all of baseball. For him to be recognized the way he is amongst the fans is a testament to him and how good of a player he really is.”
BACK TO THE FISH
The Miami Marlins and right-hander Kevin Gregg officially agreed to a minor-league deal on Tuesday afternoon.
Gregg will report to Jupiter, Fla., and toss a couple of bullpens over the next few days before pitching in minor-league games. He has not pitched competitively in 2014 but has been throwing.
”We’ll see how it goes as far as how long,” Redmond said. ”Evaluate as to how he looks and how the reports come in as to the next step.”
Redmond said the organization discussed bringing Gregg back over the offseason, but decided to go in another direction. Gregg went 2-6 with a 3.48 ERA and 33 saves in 2013 with the Chicago Cubs.
The 35-year-old spent two seasons with the Marlins from 2007-08, compiling 61 saves in 74 opportunities. He is 30-44 with a 4.07 ERA and 177 career saves in 11 seasons.
”I think you look at what he’s done in his career and he’s definitely that guy who’s closed games, done a lot of different roles,” Redmond said of using him in the eighth inning. ”He fits that. … Those guys who have been through those battles and battle-tested. Late inning in games as we’ve seen is not easy. It’s not easy to do, it’s definitely an art and comes with experience. To have Gregg, who’s saved a ton of games in the big leagues and done a lot of roles and has that experience, hopefully will help us down the road.”
Over the past three days, Miami has made a pair of moves to improve its bullpen, which ranks 20th in the majors with a 3.97 ERA.
On Sunday, the Marlins traded their No. 39 competitive balance A pick to the Pittsburgh Pirates for reliever Bryan Morris. He was available to pitch in Monday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
”We went out and made a trade and signed a guy,” Redmond said. ”Hopefully these pieces comes together and help us and give us a better chance to win ballgames. That’s what it’s all about.”
Jarrod Saltalamacchia continues to have concussion-like symptoms, and Redmond said he’s ”still a way’s out.”
Whether Saltalamacchia will need to be transferred to the 15-day disabled list remains to be seen. He would be eligible to come off the seven-day concussion DL on Sunday if his symptoms are gone and he passes benchmark tests.
”Still the same,” Redmond said. ”I don’t even know how long it’s going to be. He’s got to make sure he’s symptom-free — headache- and dizzy-free for 3-4 days before he can start doing any baseball activities. As of right now he’s still resting.”
— Eighteen days after undergoing Tommy John surgery, ace Jose Fernandez hung out with the club during Tuesday’s batting practice and held a ball in his right hand.
The 21-year-old had the procedure on May 16 and is wearing an Inspector Gadget-like brace to stabilize his right arm. He said he has been doing leg and abdominal work to stay in shape.
— Scott Lyman, Trevor Williams, Austin Barnes, Matt Juengel and Joseph O’Gara earned Florida State League All-Star honors.