07/23/12 7:46 PM ET
Stanton takes step by taking swings on field
By Joe Frisaro and Tom Green / MLB.com
These are crucial first steps in returning the Marlins' All-Star right fielder to game action.
Stanton had two cartilage chips surgically removed from his right knee on July 8, and recovery time remains four to six weeks.
Stitches were removed July 16, and Stanton has been taking some swings in the cages for a few days. On Monday, he took batting practice on the field at Marlins Park for a few minutes.
"I've been hitting in the cage every day [except Sunday], so it's not really too big of a difference," Stanton said.
Swinging a bat, he added, has not been the issue. How the knee responds to running is something that will be more closely watched. Also on Monday, he ran on the treadmill.
"I'm almost jogging at full body weight on the anti-gravity treadmill upstairs," said Stanton, who has 19 homers and 50 RBIs. "I'm at like 70 percent right now, and today hopefully I get to 80."
On the side of the knee, where the incisions were made, there remains some numbing, which Stanton said could last a month or two.
"It's not a problem," he said, "but it's part of it."
Basically, the nerve in the area is healing. The Marlins certainly miss Stanton's production, but they aren't rushing him back.
"This is a process," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't expect him to be back soon. He has to run and do outfield activities. We have to be very careful about how we handle that."
Stanton has dealt with problems to both of his knees this season. In Spring Training, he missed a few weeks with a sore left knee.
"It's still the norm," the slugger said. "It's achy once in a while, but I've lived with that."
If the left knee remains a concern at the end of September, he may decide to have a procedure done after the season.
"It depends how the season goes, but I wouldn't rule that out, if it continues to [not feel right]," Stanton said of surgery on the left knee. "Whenever someone cuts into you, you're not completely the same."
Hanley likely back in Marlins lineup on Tuesday
MIAMI -- Hanley Ramirez took early batting practice at Marlins Park on Monday afternoon, and manager Ozzie Guillen expects the third baseman to be back in the lineup Tuesday.
Ramirez, who has missed the last three games due to swelling in his right hand, took swings for about 10 minutes shortly after 3 p.m. ET. He also fielded grounders at third during pregame warmups.
"The best I've seen him swing in a little while," Guillen said. "I think he has a little better idea about his swing, and I think he's happy with what he sees. So far, things have gone [Monday] the way we thought. He's playing [Tuesday]."
Ramirez was hospitalized in Pittsburgh on Friday, when his right hand became infected. The third baseman previously injured the hand in St. Louis on July 8, when he hit a cooling fan in the visitors' dugout at Busch Stadium out of frustration. The incident caused Ramirez to get two stitches in the knuckle of his ring finger.
The infection occurred when Ramirez failed to take antibiotics prescribed to him after the incident, and the swelling in his hand kept him out of the lineup in Pittsburgh. During the weekend, Ramirez said the inflammation prevented him from being able to grip a bat or a baseball.
Guillen initially expected Ramirez to miss a few more games, but the swelling was down considerably Monday, and the manager said the third baseman was available to pinch-hit.
"He got the go-ahead from doctors," Guillen said. "It's better. He's swinging the bat good. If we can pinch-hit him [Monday] or something, I think he's available to do it."
With lefty Mike Minor starting for Atlanta on Monday, Donovan Solano got his third start at third base this season, and his first since June 15 against the Rays. The right-handed hitter has been effective against left-handed pitchers in limited opportunities, hitting .333 with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs.
"Every time we play this kid, he's been great," Guillen said. "He does a lot of great stuff for us in any place -- outfield, pinch-hit, pinch-running, every time we send him in. It's a pleasure to see him play."
Oviedo goes from restricted list to disabled list
MIAMI -- The Marlins activated reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo from the restricted list Monday and placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain.
Oviedo, formerly Leo Nunez, had been on the restricted list since August 2011, and just finished serving an eight-week suspension handed down this May for playing under a false identity. After attaining his visa in late May, Oviedo returned to Florida from his home in the Dominican Republic and reported to the Marlins' facility in Jupiter, where he worked out and served his suspension before starting a Minor League rehab stint.
The rehab stint was cut short on July 14, when the right-handed reliever exited an appearance for Triple-A New Orleans with discomfort in his right elbow. An MRI exam revealed Oviedo had a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm.
Due to the injury, Oviedo likely won't be available to pitch this season for the Marlins. He becomes a free agent at the end of the season, and chances are he won't return to the Marlins in 2013.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.