MIAMI -- Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen thinks the Nationals have what it takes to advance to the World Series -- even without ace Stephen Strasburg.
The Nationals have said since Spring Training that Strasburg, who underwent Tommy John surgery two years ago, would be shut down before the end of this season. That means the team with the best record in the Majors, which is likely playoff-bound for the first time since relocating to Washington, will have to try to win it all without one of its All-Star righties in the rotation.
Guillen said he respects the Nationals for sticking to their word from Day 1, and understands them wanting to protect a star player they've invested in -- especially with the importance placed on pitching in today's game. The Marlins skipper also believes Strasburg's absence, when he does eventually get shut down for the year, shouldn't affect Washington's chances come October.
"They're good enough to compete without that kid," Guillen said. "You need three [starters in the playoffs]. I think they can match up with anybody. They can match up with anybody in the National League, any team."
The reason Guillen believes Washington can still succeed without Strasburg? The other four guys in the Nationals' rotation -- Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler.
"This kid is the ace there, but they got four guys out there that can control the situation, too," Guillen said. "I think that's the reason they might do that. They've got four guys that have a lot of confidence, they've got a great bullpen and they're playing well."
LoMo set for second surgery on right knee
MIAMI -- Logan Morrison hopes the second time is the charm when it comes to his right knee.
The Marlins left fielder will undergo right knee surgery Sept. 5 to repair his patellar tendon. Dr. Richard Steadman, one of the top knee specialists in the nation, will perform the surgery, which is the same procedure Morrison underwent last December.
Morrison's knee didn't successfully recover from that surgery, and it bothered him all season as he tried to play through the discomfort. He hit .230 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs in 93 games this year before being placed on the 15-day disabled list July 29.
After meeting with Steadman in Vail, Colo., Morrison anticipated the need for a second surgery, but wanted to see how the knee responded to three weeks of rest. The Marlins moved him to the 60-day DL on Aug. 16.
Morrison said the expected recovery time from the surgery is up to six months, which would leave him ready for the start of Spring Training, barring any setbacks.
Marlins not in hurry to make too many callups
MIAMI -- Don't expect many new arrivals for the Marlins when rosters expand on Saturday.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said Tuesday he only expects two or three players to be called up next month as the season enters the home stretch.
"I don't expect that many guys," Guillen said. "I think we have enough. Obviously they're going to bring people, I don't know the names, but they're going to bring two or three guys."
The reason Guillen doesn't expect more is because many players are already with the team either because of injuries or deals the Marlins made before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Young pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Jacob Turner are already in the rotation, catcher Rob Brantly was brought up a couple of weeks ago from the Minors, third baseman Nick Green is with the team -- though on the disabled list -- and other players have gone back and forth between the big league club and the Minors for much of the season, like Bryan Petersen, Donnie Murphy and Chris Hatcher.
Beyond the players that have been with the team this year -- names like Brett Hayes, Chris Coghlan and Scott Cousins -- Guillen doesn't want the team to rush many of the prospects in its farm system to the Majors too soon.
"You have to bring people to the big leagues if you need it and if they deserve to be in the big leagues," Guillen said. "I see a lot of big league teams call people up hitting .210 because he's a prospect, because he's their guy. I think people have to come to the big leagues because they earned it and they should be here, not because they have to be here."
Stanton on a tear after post-surgery layoff
MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton had one major question when he underwent right knee surgery in July and was slated to miss a month of action on the disabled list: How would he respond once he returned to the lineup?
So far, the answer has been an obvious one. On Monday, Stanton was named the National League Player of the Week after hitting five homers over the course of seven games. He hit a team-record eight dingers during the Marlins' 11-game road trip, and has an NL-leading 10 homers since Aug. 8, when he returned from surgery.
During that span, Stanton is hitting .296 and slugging .789, the latter number besting his .769 slugging percentage when he won NL Player of the Month in May.
"I had never been on the DL before, so that was one of the questions for me, how I was going to respond to that," Stanton said. "Luckily, I didn't miss a beat."
Stanton's performance has been one of the few bright spots on an otherwise disappointing season for the Marlins, and manager Ozzie Guillen believes there's still more to come from the 22-year-old All-Star slugger.
"It's exciting to see this kid grow and learn how to play," Guillen said. "He's 20-something years old, and he could be one of the most dangerous hitters in the game right now. That's the bright thing of this organization right now. This kid is fun to watch. He goes about his business the right way.
"His learning process is getting quicker every day. It's a very nice surprise the way he has come back from the surgery."
Although the Marlins' goal of winning the division is out of reach, Guillen said he wants to see a strong finish from his team, which hasn't stopped fighting, and from his players as the team evaluates each one to see who factors into Miami's future plans.
"We have to be very patient," Guillen said. "We cannot think about how bad the season was -- the season was bad already -- but as soon as you start thinking about why the season was bad, then you're not going to like any of your players. You have to be very careful about thinking with your brains, not with your heart or your stomach. What players are really going to help us? And go from there."
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.