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08/01/12 8:30 PM ET

Murphy making most of second shot with Miami

ATLANTA -- The second time around, Donnie Murphy is hoping for better results.

The Marlins' 29-year-old utility infielder was on the Opening Day roster. With sporadic playing time, he struggled when called upon, which led to him being designated for assignment on June 9.

But after the Marlins traded Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate to the Dodgers last week, Murphy was called up.

Now he's getting another look. In Tuesday's 7-1 loss in Atlanta, Murphy belted a first-inning home run. And he went 2-for-5 in the series opener against the Braves on Monday.

In Miami's win over the Padres on Sunday at Marlins Park, Murphy delivered a two-run triple.

Before getting another big league shot, Murphy made the most of his time at Triple-A New Orleans. In 33 games, he batted .302 with 13 home runs and 25 RBIs.

"I knew when I was going to go down, I was going to get some consistent playing time," Murphy said. "The No. 1 goal is getting confidence back, getting in the swing of things.

"[When the season started], it was kind of a different role than I was used to. I felt like I was off, and when you do get that one chance, it was hard. But I feel like there is more of an opportunity this time around, and hopefully I can run with it."

When Murphy was designated, he could have refused the assignment, which would have made him a free agent.

Had he done so, he would have forfeited the remainder of his $560,000 contract. The Marlins signed him to the guaranteed contract last offseason, avoiding arbitration.

For family reasons, Murphy felt remaining in Miami's system was in his best interest.

"I didn't really have much choice," he said. "This year is looking out for family more financially. Obviously, if I opted out, I would have had to forfeit the rest of my earnings this year. That's something I didn't really want to do."

Murphy and his wife also have a small child, so staying became a priority.

"Having a kid, that is something that was important," he said. "This year is the first year I ever had a guaranteed deal. That's why I went down there. I said, 'Who knows?' If I go down there, do well and something else happens. ... Stuff did happen. I did well down there, and I'm back. I'm glad I stuck with my decision."

Stanton could return as early as Tuesday

ATLANTA -- If all goes according to plan, Giancarlo Stanton could be back in the Marlins' lineup in less than a week.

Barring any setbacks, Stanton could be back in the lineup on Tuesday in the series opener against the Mets at Citi Field.

Stanton is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter on Thursday. The hope is the All-Star right fielder will need only a few Minor League games before returning to big league action.

Stanton had two cartilage chips removed from his right knee on July 8, and recovery was estimated to be four to six weeks.

Miami is hoping that it is closer to the four-week mark.

Stanton has not played since July 7 in St. Louis, when he was removed from the game after two innings due to soreness in his right knee. The surgery was performed by Marlins physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan, the next day in Miami.

The 22-year-old still paces the club with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs. In 80 games, he's batting .284.

Reyes remains upbeat despite Marlins' results

ATLANTA -- A disappointing season hasn't wiped the smile off Jose Reyes' face.

Through adversity, the Miami shortstop continues to show up and play hard every day. He singled in the fifth inning on Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 19 games, which is one shy of his personal high.

During the streak, Reyes is batting .338 with a .382 on-base percentage, four home runs, five doubles, a triple and eight RBIs.

Since the Marlins traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers last week, Reyes is becoming more of the face of the franchise.

The veteran is now being pushed into a leadership role. Eventually, the Marlins are expected to become Giancarlo Stanton's team. But the slugger is still on the disabled list after undergoing right knee surgery.

"Yes, I'm happy to be here," said Reyes, who signed a six-year, $106 million contract last December. "I will continue to play hard, give you everything I have.

"I notice a lot of young players on this ballclub like to play. They can take me as an example, just the way I play the game. I want to give everything I have to help this organization to win a lot of ballgames."

Reyes noted that the non-waiver Trade Deadline period was tough, as the team made four separate moves from July 23 through Tuesday's Deadline.

"There's been a lot of talk, a lot of rumors out there," Reyes said. "As a player, we cannot worry about that. We need to worry about winning ballgames. That's for our owners, GM, other people. For us, we need to continue to play."

At some point, perhaps after the season, Reyes hopes to get a better indication of the direction the ballclub is heading, and if he fits into those plans.

"It is different," Reyes said of the tough season. "It's shocking, because we went to Spring Training with high expectations. That team we had on Opening Day was a pretty good team. We were not able to put everything together. As a player, you need to continue to play, continue to go on the field, don't worry about what happened, how many guys the team is trading. You need to stay focused on the field and continue to do your job."

Reyes is the only infielder remaining from the Opening Day starting lineup. Ramirez is in Los Angeles, while Omar Infante was sent to Detroit, and Gaby Sanchez was dealt to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

"Baseball is crazy," Reyes said. "They do these things for a reason. Hopefully we can finish the season strong, play .500 baseball or better.

"We still have some players. When Stanton comes back, we still have JJ [Josh Johnson] here. [Mark] Buehrle, he's capable when he takes the ball. We need to put it together and be consistent. If we are able to do that, we are going to win a lot of ballgames."

Hernandez adds speed to Marlins' outfield

ATLANTA -- Having room to run is perfectly fine for new Marlins outfielder Gorkys Hernandez.

Acquired from the Pirates on Tuesday as part of the Gaby Sanchez trade, Hernandez will be given a chance to roam the spacious outfield at Marlins Park.

The Marlins parted with the power potential of Sanchez to upgrade their speed. It is necessary, especially at Marlins Park, which has so much ground to cover.

"There is a lot of room in the outfield. That's what I like," said the 24-year-old Hernandez. "That's good for me. I like running for the ball. When I see the field, I see a lot of room. That's very comfortable for me."

Scouting reports rate Hernandez as a plus-defender at all three outfield positions. He is a plus-runner who can steal a base. The Pirates used him frequently as a defensive replacement.

The key to playing time is how he handles the bat. In 24 at-bats with Pittsburgh this year, he has just two hits. He's also played in 67 games at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he batted .257 with 43 runs scored, 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs and 25 RBIs.

He's considered better against left-handed pitching.

"I have to try to be consistent at the plate and try to use the whole field," Hernandez said. "The field in Miami is a big one. If I use the field, the middle and away, I will have a lot of room for running."

The right-handed-hitting Hernandez was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday, but he could be on Thursday against lefty Mike Minor.

Manager Ozzie Guillen wants to break Hernandez in at the plate hitting against a lefty. How he looks will determine how much playing time he will receive.

Worth noting

• Manager Ozzie Guillen said Brad Hand is an option to get called up from Triple-A New Orleans to start, most likely, the first game of Friday's doubleheader at Washington. Josh Johnson is expected to start in the second game. New MLB rules allow teams to make a one-day callup for doubleheaders, and teams can carry 26 players on those days.

Guillen added that Jacob Turner will not be promoted for the start. Turner, acquired from the Tigers as part of the Omar Infante-Anibal Sanchez trade, has started his Marlins tenure at New Orleans.

• Logan Morrison underwent an MRI exam on his right knee on Wednesday. The results will help determine if he will have season-ending surgery.

• Infielder Zack Cox, obtained from the Cardinals as part of the Edward Mujica trade on Tuesday, is being placed on the seven-day disabled list with a mild hamstring strain. Cox is expected to play third base at Double-A Jacksonville.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.