08/25/12 9:59 PM ET
Brantly relishes return to Southern California
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Before the Marlins faced the Dodgers on Friday night, Brantly previously visited the historic stadium when he was in high school.
"The last time I was here, I was a sophomore or junior in high school," said Brantly, the Marlins' 23-year-old catcher. "I was actually sitting up the left-field line, right behind the little bleacher section. It was fun getting out and hitting. I was like, 'I have a different seat, right behind home plate.'"
A Temecula, Calif. native, Brantly played his college ball at California-Riverside.
The left-handed-hitting catcher now is splitting playing time with John Buck. In Friday's 11-4 loss, Brantly had a solid night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double.
Miami acquired Brantly from the Tigers on July 23 as part of the Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade. Returning to California has been a thrill. The catcher's purchased tickets for a number of friends.
"It's pretty nice to be back. I've been smiling ever since I landed," he said.
Brantly joked that he purchased so many tickets for the series that he is "playing for free" these games.
Growing up in the San Diego area, Brantly actually attended more Angels games, but he made it to Dodger Stadium about once per season.
The Marlins envision Brantly as someday becoming an everyday catcher. Adjusting to the big leagues is a process, manager Ozzie Guillen said. And ideally, Brantly could be better served with more Minor League seasoning.
"This kid is very, very not ready to be here," Guillen said. "I see a lot of stuff. He's better. He's trying. He's got a chance to be a good player. He brings a lot of enthusiasm. ... But we have to be careful with him.
"Is this kid going to be good? Yes. He's going to be better, a lot better. Right now he's very, very raw."
Guillen said there were occasions on Friday where Brantly and starter Nathan Eovaldi were not together on pitch selection and sequences.
"This kid has got a chance to be a special kid," the manager said. "On the field and off the field. He's hungry. He has a passion for the game, a feel for the game. But like you see yesterday, the two kids were not on the same page. He had to walk to the mound. There were a lot of things that people don't realize.
"Hopefully, with the month we have left, it's a process for him. It's a process for us, but we have to be patient with him."
Stanton ties Mantle for homers before age 23
LOS ANGELES -- Each home run Giancarlo Stanton hits moves him further into elite company.
The Marlins slugger connected on solo shots on Friday and Saturday night at Los Angeles, giving him 28 on the season and seven on the road trip.
The Sunland, Calif., resident now has 84 home runs in his career, and he is climbing the ladder for the most by a player before age 23.
His homer off Clayton Kershaw in the second inning on Saturday night pulled Stanton even with Mickey Mantle and Andruw Jones for ninth place on the list of players with home runs before turning 23. Stanton had previously been tied with Ted Williams. The top five on the list are Mel Ott (115), Eddie Matthews (112), Tony Conigliaro (104), Alex Rodriguez (94) and Frank Robinson (93).
"To be in the same list or category with these names is hands down something you only dream about," Stanton said. "But also, a few of the names on the list are not on top of the all-time list."
If Stanton stays healthy, who knows where he may wind up on the all-time home run list? He has the potential to hit at least 40 per season.
So while he's already among some elite names, Stanton is focused on continuing to perform.
"Just keep it going," he said. "Don't settle for anything. Those names are untouchable for some people. But you have to keep pushing and try to make shadows of them."
Marlins keeping tabs on storm near Florida
LOS ANGELES -- As of Saturday evening, Tropical Storm Isaac was churning a path over Cuba and chugging toward the Florida Keys.
The storm, which has a chance to escalate to a hurricane, is expected to douse South Florida with heavy rains and winds between Sunday and Monday morning.
If the storm stays on its projected path, it could be making an impact on the Miami area about the time the Marlins are scheduled to arrive home from Los Angeles.
Like the rest of Florida, the Marlins are monitoring to see if the weather will cause their flight to be either delayed or canceled for a day.
"We don't know anything yet," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have a day off Monday anyway. Sunday to Monday we're supposed to arrive the same time the storm is coming. So we have to wait and see what is the deal.
"If we stay, we stay. If we had a game Monday, it would be a little bit different. Major League Baseball will have to get involved."