Marlins activate Stanton, put Kotchman on DL
All-Star slugger missed all of May after straining right hamstring
MIAMI -- Marlins left fielder Juan Pierre didn't know about the return of Giancarlo Stanton until the 6-6, 240-pound slugger walked into the clubhouse on Monday.
The Marlins reinstated Stanton from the 15-day disabled list prior to Monday's series opener against the Brewers at Marlins Park. Casey Kotchman was put on the DL with an oblique injury.
"I'm just happy that I'm finally here to contribute now," Stanton said. "It's been a long time, and I'm just glad to be here."
The 23-year-old landed on the DL on April 30 after straining his right hamstring while running out a slow roller in the 10th inning the night before. His injury was ruled a Grade 2 moderate strain, with the best-case scenario a return sometime between three and four weeks.
Stanton missed 36 games. Earlier in the year, he sat out five games with a bruised left shoulder.
Before the injury, Stanton was just breaking out of a slump. After 72 at-bats without a home run, he hit three over a two-game span against the Cubs in late April.
In 20 games, Stanton hit .227 with three doubles and nine RBIs. He drew 12 walks and struck out 26 times, adjusting to how pitchers worked him without another power threat to protect him.
Over five rehabilitation games in Jupiter for the Class A Advanced Hammerheads, the 2012 National League All-Star went hitless in 15 at-bats. He struck out five times and walked twice.
"I looked at the reports, and I know he didn't get a lot of hits, but it's more being able to play the outfield and see some pitches," manager Mike Redmond said. "I've played Minor League games before and it's tough. Some guys can do it and some can't. It was time to get him up here and get him in the lineup."
Rookie Marcell Ozuna, who will move to center field as Stanton slots back into his right-field position, is batting .331 with one homer, 13 doubles, two triples and 17 RBIs in 36 games. The 22-year-old is also tied for second amongst Major League right fielders with five assists.
Redmond put Stanton third and Ozuna fourth in the order for Monday's game. With an off-day on Thursday, Stanton is expected to play the entirety of the Milwaukee series.
"I think we'll see how he goes and how he feels," Redmond said. "We'll monitor his health from day to day. ... We want to make sure we have these guys for the long haul. We don't want to have any more injuries if we can prevent them. We'll play it by ear. We have to take care of these guys and make sure they last for the rest of the season."
Added Stanton: "I prefer just to be out there, so as long as I don't get extra sore playing a few days in a row, I'd rather be out there than rest. I got enough rest this season."