Rehabbing Stanton in 'hitting progression'
Out nearly two months, slugger hits off pitching machine, faces live pitching for first time
MILWAUKEE -- Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton began hitting off a pitching machine and against live pitching on Monday, manager Dan Jennings said. Stanton has been on the disabled list since June 27 with a fracture of the hamate bone in his left hand.
"He's in a hitting progression," Jennings said of Stanton before Monday's game with the Brewers. "He'll start to hit off the machine and live batting practice. Then he'll progress into probably a simulation game and one or two rehab games. Time for that is to be determined."
The amount of time it has taken Stanton to progress to this stage was a topic of discussion with Jennings on Monday.
"I think it has to do with the strength factor in his hands and wrist," Jennings said of Stanton's recovery. "When you're a hitter, and the strength is not there, it's tough to feel comfortable swinging the bat. You can be a little tentative."
Stanton was hitting .265/.346/.606 with 27 home runs and 67 RBIs before suffering the injury in June. Despite missing nearly two months, he still entered Monday tied for fourth in the National League in homers and tied for 12th in RBIs.
"When he feels the strength is there, he'll step on the accelerator," Jennings added. "When he's healthy, he'll be back. I know he wants to finish on a positive note. I hope that can be sooner rather than later."