04/11/12 6:50 PM ET
Stanton returns; knee might be lingering issue
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Stanton was scratched from Monday's lineup due to pain in his left knee. The team was off on Tuesday, and the 22-year-old right fielder was examined by Phillies physician, Dr. Michael Ciccotti, in Philadelphia.
"Basically, it's the same type of stuff from Spring Training," Stanton said. "There is no specific injury to it. It's something that I'm going to have to deal with. There are times I'm going to have to deal with that, and some stretches that I won't."
Stanton missed a majority of Spring Training with left knee inflammation. With the early travel and chilly temperatures in Philadelphia, the knee has been acting up.
With two days of rest, the slugger was deemed good to go in the second game of a three-game series with the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
The good news, Stanton says, is all the ligaments in the knee are intact. But the concern is that exams haven't pinpointed exactly what is wrong with the knee.
Asked about his level of concern, Stanton said: "It's pretty moderate. It's something that's obviously not going to get much better by playing every day. It's something that you have to kind of deal with, gauge the pain and deal with what you've got."
The Marlins plan to monitor Stanton and likely will give him periodic time off.
"I'll go out, and run around a little bit and see the feedback," Stanton said before batting practice.
New speedy duo impresses ex-Marlin Pierre
PHILADELPHIA -- With speed at the top of their lineup, the Marlins have a similar look to their 2003 World Series championship squad.
One of the key players on that title team is impressed with Miami's speedy combo of Jose Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio.
Juan Pierre of the Phillies was the Marlins' leadoff hitter on the athletic '03 squad. Pierre and Luis Castillo used to create problems with their speed at the top of the order.
"Their lineup is set up to where they'll be able to create runs," Pierre said on Wednesday.
The Marlins have speed in Reyes, Bonifacio and Hanley Ramirez at the top of the lineup. And they have power with Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez.
"They still have Stanton and Morrison, and Hanley can hit for power," Pierre said. "It's not an easy team to face. At the top of the order, you can see the pressure they can put on the defense and the pitcher."
In a 6-2 win on Monday night, the Marlins scored in the first inning on a pair of singles by Reyes and Bonifacio, a double steal and a Ramirez groundout. They were able to manufacture runs off Cole Hamels.
"Against us that first day, Cole Hamels pitched a good game," Pierre said. "They got that one run without getting that big hit. That's what me and Louie used to do. But Reyes has way more power than I do."
Marlins know experience will aid Hanley at third
PHILADELPHIA -- Becoming a polished third baseman isn't happening overnight. Improvement will come gradually, and game experience is becoming the best teacher for Hanley Ramirez.
"Like I was saying in Spring Training, it's not taking the ground balls, it's certain situations," Marlins bench coach Joey Cora said. "Opening Day, one time, with a man on second on a base hit, he wasn't in cutoff [position]. He knew he missed.
"Those situations come naturally to any third baseman who has played the game a long time. He started playing the position a month ago. There will be situations that are going to be a process through the season. There are plays that are going to come up that are new for him."
Formerly a three-time All-Star shortstop, Ramirez switched to third base after Miami signed Jose Reyes.
Already in the young season, Ramirez has been tested, with mixed results. In the series finale at Cincinnati on Sunday, the game-winning run scored on Scott Rolen's infield single. With runners at the corners, Rolen bounced a grounder to third.
Ramirez was prepared to field the ball in front of him, but at the last second, the ball deflected a bit to his right, causing him to not field it cleanly.
The game-winning run scored on the tough hop.
"If it was right at him, he would have gone around the horn [for a double play]," Cora said. "I told him, if it's a backhand, go to home plate, get the out and we'll go from there. He told me, 'All of a sudden it took a funny hop to the right.'"
The Marlins have said from the beginning they will be patient with Ramirez.
"Hopefully, by the middle of the season, we get enough plays," Cora said. "That's why I wanted in Spring Training to get him enough plays, and hopefully at the beginning of the season there are a lot of plays out there so he learns quickly.
"He's a good enough athlete to make adjustments on the fly. That's what we're kind of hoping for. Eventually, he will be fine. He will be good. He's in to it. He wants to be a good defensive third baseman."