Redmond: Stanton unlikely to return this season
After tests Tuesday, manager indicates slugger will not be medically cleared
NEW YORK -- Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton underwent a series of checkups in Miami on Tuesday, and indications are that the two-time All-Star will not be medically cleared to return before the season ends on Sept. 28 at Washington.
Earlier in the afternoon, the team had been hopeful that Stanton's recovery from facial injuries was progressing enough for the slugger to come back in some capacity. But after Miami lost, 9-1, to the Mets, manager Mike Redmond confirmed it was doubtful the team would be regaining its power-hitting right fielder.
"[Stanton] was being checked out later this afternoon," Redmond said. "We'll have an official statement [Wednesday], but it's probably not looking good for him."
Since being struck in the face by a pitch on Sept. 11 at Milwaukee, the Marlins and Stanton had been hopeful that the rest of the season would not be completely lost.
Stanton suffered multiple facial fractures and lacerations requiring more than 20 stitches and lost several teeth after being pegged on the left side of his face on Sept. 11 by a Mike Fiers' fastball at Miller Park.
Before Tuesday's game, Redmond spoke more optimistically of a return.
"His mindset is he wants to come back and play," the Miami manager said pregame. "Ours is, absolutely, if it can happen."
On Tuesday, via his Instagram account, Stanton sent out a graphic photo of his scarred and swollen face before and after he had some plastic surgery.
The Marlins are keeping Stanton in their thoughts. During games, his No. 27 jersey hangs in the dugout.
"Hopefully, he does come back," third baseman Casey McGehee said early Tuesday afternoon. "But while he's out, we want to finish up strong to let him know, when he does come back, that he doesn't have to be the one doing all the lifting by himself, that we can pull together."
The players have included Stanton on group text messages and shared photos and videos with him of what has been going on around the club. On Sunday, for instance, the rookies dressed up as part of their annual late-season, road-trip ritual. Pictures and videos were sent to Stanton.
For Stanton's peace of mind, the team had been hoping the slugger could get into game action. The ideal situation would have been a few at-bats where he could have faced pitching heading into the offseason. The intention was not for him to play the outfield or risk diving or sliding on the bases.
"I would want nothing more than to have him step into that box four or five more times, or eight more times," Redmond said. "However many times it is before the season is over -- for him to have that comfort level of knowing that he got back into that box, and not have his last memory for the 2014 season [be] getting hit in the mouth."
Stanton had played in 145 games, and he was having an MVP-caliber season, batting .288 with 37 home runs and 105 RBIs. His on-base percentage was .395, to go along with a slugging percentage of .555.