Could Stanton make quick recovery?
Baker offers insight into hamate injury; teammates try to pick up slack with slugger out
MIAMI -- From personal experience, Marlins infielder Jeff Baker can relate to what Giancarlo Stanton is going through.
Baker, who has had several hand/wrist procedures, broke the hamate bone in his left hand several years ago. Based on what he knows about the injury, he wouldn't be surprised if Stanton returns in less than a month.
"I've seen guys coming back anywhere from 2 1/2 weeks to six weeks," Baker said. "I had surgery. The biggest thing is you have the wound heal. After that, it's a pain tolerance thing, and you're good to go."
Baker had left hand surgery in 2009 when he was with the Rockies.
The veteran noted that the hamate, a small hook-shaped bone located near the base of the hand, is a common injury with baseball players.
"You have to have it removed," Baker said. "They take it out. There is no strengthening, no therapy. I don't say this lightly, but if you're going to break something in your hand, the hamate is going to be the way to go."
Recommended recovery for Stanton is 4-6 weeks, and the Marlins are confident the slugger doesn't have any ligament or cartilage damage.
"I don't want to speak for him," Baker said of Stanton. "He's going to be fine. I don't put anything past that guy."
The Marlins, meanwhile, will have to pick up the pieces. Along with Stanton, Opening Day third baseman Martin Prado (right shoulder) and first baseman Michael Morse (right ring finger) are on the disabled list.
Morse could join the team in a day or two. Prado, meanwhile, is not throwing. He is swinging in the cages and fielding, but he won't know when he can return until he throws. He is hopeful it will be before the All-Star break.
"It is what it is right now, and the big guy getting hurt too, it's painful," Prado said. "I'm trying to get my shoulder in good shape. I want to make sure when I go out there, I'll be ready to play every day. Until I can throw the ball from third base, I can't tell you [my return]."
Ichiro Suzuki will get regular playing time in right field with Stanton out. But all the Marlins know they have to do their part until Stanton is ready.
"He's been one of the best players in baseball this year," left fielder Christian Yelich said. "He's been on fire too. We've got to suck it up and keep going. It's one of those freak things that we can't control. Obviously he wishes he was here."