MIAMI -- The way the speed-power tandem has worked at the top of the order, Marlins manager Don Mattingly plans to keep Giancarlo Stanton batting second behind Dee Gordon.Stanton opened the season as the primary cleanup hitter, but he has found a comfort zone in the two-hole since the change
MIAMI -- The way the speed-power tandem has worked at the top of the order, Marlins manager Don Mattingly plans to keep Giancarlo Stanton batting second behind Dee Gordon.
Stanton opened the season as the primary cleanup hitter, but he has found a comfort zone in the two-hole since the change was made on May 23 at Oakland.
Entering Friday, Gordon has 17 steals and Stanton has 14 home runs, giving the lineup contrasting threats.
"I think that puts pitchers in a tough spot with Dee," Mattingly said. "They've got to throw some fastballs. They try to speed up. When they do that, sometimes they make mistakes. When you get a pitcher divided out there a little bit where he has to think about Dee, and he's not so much worried about Giancarlo -- it's been a good combination."
What makes the combination work is the fact Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour have been productive in the middle of the order, plus once the lineup turns over, Stanton is lurking.
"Right now, if you ask me if I'm going to leave [Stanton] there, I'm going to leave him there," Mattingly said. "Am I going to leave him there the whole year? You never know that part."
• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (left oblique strain) and third baseman Martin Prado (right hamstring strain) are ramping up their baseball activities, taking grounders in the field and swinging the bat. In about a week, they both could be ready to start a rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Jupiter.
• Stanton certainly has impressed with his bat this year, but in Thursday's 3-2 loss, the right fielder showcased a powerful throwing arm. With Nick Ahmed on third, Paul Goldschmidt lifted a fly ball to Stanton in right. Ahmed considered tagging, but he retreated to third as the throw was snared by J.T. Realmuto. Per Statcast™, Stanton's throw was 94.5 mph.
"I don't think we're going to convert him right now," Mattingly joked about switching Stanton to a pitcher. "I think you see arm strength from Giancarlo. That's one of the things you usually don't talk about much with him. He's played a good right field."
• Bour on Thursday accomplished a first in his career: He stole a base.
"As far as stealing bases go, I don't know if I'd look for that every night," Bour said. "It was a situation where I thought I could take one."
Bour has received second base as a keepsake, and he sent it over to the D-backs' clubhouse, asking if catcher Jeff Mathis (his former teammate) would sign it. Mathis was behind the plate on Bour's steal.
"I'm glad I made it," Bour said. "Otherwise, I would have gotten yelled at by everyone."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.