04/12/2013 11:50 PM ET
Polanco bringing veteran presence and professional bat
By Christina De Nicola / Special to MLB.com
MIAMI -- Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco checks the lineup every day just to make sure he doesn't accidentally wind up in the on-deck circle with the second hitter by habit.
On Friday night against the Phillies, one of his former teams, Polanco initially found himself plugged into the cleanup spot, but was bumped up a spot in the lineup after Giancarlo Stanton was scratched with a sore left shoulder.
"My approach is the same," Polanco said. "I don't really think about it. The game is already hard and when you add to it, it's like Yogi Berra said, 'How can you hit and think at the same time?'
"Even if I was on a team full of veterans my approach would be the same. Every at-bat you want to have a good at-bat. The game talks to you whether you're leading off or want to get on base or driving in and hitting with men in scoring position trying to get a pitch to hit."
Heading into Friday, Polanco, 37, leads Miami's regulars with a .333 batting average, three RBIs, just one strikeout and no walks in 33 at-bats.
Manager Mike Redmond likes that the veteran provides a professional at-bat every time he comes to the plate, something that Redmond hopes rubs off on Polanco's younger teammates.
"He's an experienced guy who has hit in lots of different spots in the lineup," Redmond said. "He's a guy that doesn't strike out a lot and puts the ball in play, which works for us. To have a guy behind Stanton that can give you a good at-bat, he can hit and run and bunt, he can do a lot of different things."
Stanton scratched with sore left shoulder
MIAMI -- Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was scratched from the lineup shortly before Friday night's game against the Phillies with a sore left shoulder and will have an MRI Saturday morning.
"It's fair to say he probably won't play tomorrow," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We'll re-evaluate him tomorrow. You know how that is. You usually find out more the next day, see how it feels. I would say it's safe to say he won't play tomorrow."
Stanton said his shoulder was sore after making a diving catch on Kirk Nieuwenhuis' liner last Saturday in New York. "I wasn't too sure if it was the weather or that dive or what not," Stanton said. "It's been escalating."
Earlier on Friday afternoon, the 23-year-old slugger stretched and took batting practice with the team. He was a little sore afterwards and was taken out for precautionary reasons. He received treatment.
"I didn't like it," Stanton said of how he felt during batting practice. "It wasn't as bad [on Wednesday]."
In nine games, he is batting .167 (5-for-30) with two doubles, eight walks and 12 strikeouts. In the recent three-game series with the Braves, he went 1-for-8 with four walks and two strikeouts.
Stanton has yet to drive in a run through the first nine games of the season. In his previous three years, it took him no more than five games to do so. In 2011, Stanton collected just two RBIs through the first nine games.
The updated lineup put Austin Kearns in right field and fifth in the order, Placido Polanco moved from cleanup to Stanton's third spot. Justin Ruggiano hit fourth.
Cishek working on slider in bullpen sessions
MIAMI -- Marlins closer Steve Cishek last took the mound during a game on Sunday when he blew his first save opportunity of the season, allowing two runs on two hits with a hit batter.
Marlon Byrd's walk-off, two-run single down the third-base line gave the Mets a series victory and a no-decision to Miami starter Jose Fernandez.
"I'm really stubborn, so I want to get back out there right away if I could, but obviously it's not possible," Cishek said. "I'll get my chance. It's a long year. We all want to be out there anyways."
Since Sunday, the 26-year-old has thrown in the bullpen every day except Wednesday and Thursday, which the team had off.
Over his past two outings, Cishek has given up four runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. In three total appearances this year, he has posted a 15.43 ERA.
"I just want to get a feel for my slider again because I've been throwing it a lot in bullpens," Cishek said. "Without it I'm a one-pitch pitcher for the most part. It's important."
For manager Mike Redmond, it can be tough finding Cishek an inning when the team plays from behind and lacks save chances because of a 1-8 start.
"Obviously we'd love to get him in a save situation -- that's the goal -- but we'll have to look at that," Redmond said. "We don't want anybody going down in the bullpen too many days. The key is hopefully to get him in there tonight."
Injured Marlins show encouraging progress
MIAMI -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond offered encouraging news in regards to injured players working their way back to health.
Right-hander Henderson Alvarez threw a 15-pitch bullpen session on Friday for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list on March 31, retroactive to March 27, with mild right shoulder inflammation.
Redmond expects Alvarez to continue to "ramp up the pitches with some changeups in there and start a progression and building arm strength back up."
First baseman Logan Morrison, who was moved to the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from knee surgery, started to run. Redmond called it a "good sign."
Joe Mahoney, claimed from the Orioles this offseason and hoping to fill in at first with Morrison on the DL, started Friday night in a rehab game with the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads.
Mahoney opened the season on the 15-day DL, retroactive to March 22, with an intercostal strain. He played in an extended spring training game on Wednesday, going 1-for-4 with a home run and two strikeouts.
According to Redmond, there are no timetables for their returns. The organization will continue to evaluate how each feels moving forward.
"That's good, guys are progressing and hopefully getting them on their way to health," Redmond said. "That's the key."
Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.