Stanton not making excuses for recent woes
PITTSBURGH -- With clarity and conviction on Tuesday afternoon, Giancarlo Stanton assessed his frustrating season.
You don't need to remind the Marlins' slugger that he is 1-for-20 over his last six games, and batting just .245 with 13 homers and 34 RBIs on the season.
The 23-year-old is not making excuses or offering any alibis.
"I haven't shown up to play, all season," Stanton told MLB.com. "And that's the most frustrating thing in the world. I've probably had two 15 at-bat stints where I've played OK, and that's it -- all season. All [darn] season."
Don't misinterpret Stanton's candor for him saying he hasn't cared or properly prepared.
"Read it exactly how it is. I haven't shown up to play," the slugger said. "Did I prepare less? No. Did I care less? No. It just hasn't been there. As the person that I am, and how prepared as I am, that's unacceptable."
The Marlins may have the worst record in the National League, and much has been made about the overhaul of the roster from a year ago to now.
None of those distractions has hindered Stanton's desire to succeed. Neither has trade speculation weighed on him.
And while there have been numerous reports that teams were ready to make "substantial offers" for Stanton, the bottom line is before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the Marlins told other clubs that the slugger was unavailable. No firm offers were actually discussed.
As an organization, the Marlins are planning to approach Stanton after the season about a multi-year contract. Whether he is willing to listen or accept still has yet to be determined. He may opt to go year to year in arbitration and wait for free agency.
Stanton is arbitration-eligible in 2014, and he would qualify for free agency after the 2016 season.
The Marlins are hoping to build around the slugger for the next couple of seasons.
Clearly, the club is counting on Stanton providing big production in the middle of their lineup.
"It seems like he's had a tough time getting it going," manager Mike Redmond said. "He seems to be able to sustain his at-bats for a few games, but he hasn't had that long stretch where we feel like he's locked in. It looks to me like he's a little out of whack and just missing some balls."
In his fourth big league season, Stanton has already established the reputation of being one of the premiere power hitters in the game. He has 106 home runs in 441 games.
"I've said this all year, he's such a big part of our lineup," Redmond said. "We need him in the middle of that order. Hopefully, he will not only get some big hits [Tuesday], but throughout this whole road trip. We're going to need him."
The Marlins have 52 games remaining, and the solution to Stanton's slump is simple.
"Work, work and work," Stanton said. "That's why this game will smack you in the face sometimes."