6/16/2013 1:17 P.M. ET
Stanton's return providing spark to offense
By Joe Frisaro and Joe Morgan / MLB.com
MIAMI -- It's not a coincidence that the Marlins' offense is starting to heat up now that Giancarlo Stanton is back in the lineup.
After missing about six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Stanton has been a major presence in the three-spot. In his first five games back, Stanton was 8-for-20 (.400) with two home runs, two doubles and seven RBIs.
Prior to his injury, Stanton struggled over 20 games in April. The 23-year-old slugger batted .227 with three home runs, three doubles and nine RBIs in that stretch.
"He looks confident," manager Mike Redmond said. "He definitely looks different than he did in April, and I think that's confidence. He feels good. He's taken some good swings. He's seen some results. Like any player, that breeds a lot of confidence, and in turn, guys play better."
Stanton blistered a two-run homer to right-center on Saturday against St. Louis' Lance Lynn.
The fact he is driving the ball to the opposite field, Stanton says, means he's seeing pitches deeper into the zone. Early on, he was ahead of the same pitches, often tapping the ball off the end of the bat.
"Everything before was off the end of the bat because I wasn't trusting my body and my hands to relax and get through it," Stanton said. "That's why everything was off the end of the bat before."
Redmond thrilled to be joined by kids at park
MIAMI -- Three No. 11 jerseys of late take the field when the Marlins begin batting practice before each home game.
Miami manager Mike Redmond stands in front of the mound and throws batting practice to his team. Meanwhile, his sons, Michael and Ryan, shag flies, field grounders and even squeeze in some batting practice.
"As a father, that's pretty fun," Redmond said. "It's pretty fun to be able to take this journey with my own kids. Whether they play baseball or not, whatever. That doesn't even matter. It's fun for me to get to spend as much time as I can with them."
The first-year Marlins manager, who makes Spokane, Wash., home, was thrilled on Sunday to have his sons at Marlins Park to help celebrate Father's Day.
"It's a kid's game," Redmond said. "I get to drive in with my kids every day, and they're so excited to be out here on the field and being in the clubhouse with the guys."
While Redmond enjoys sharing his experience with his children on a personal basis, he also noted that the presence of his sons on the field and in the clubhouse is a positive influence for his team.
"When I was coming up as a player, it was always great to have little kids because it just kind of puts things into perspective," Redmond said. "Little kids, man, they don't care if you went 0-for-4 last night, or 4-for-4.
"They just want to hang out and talk and admire the players. My kids are like that. They sit there and they watch the guys and they root for them and they cheer for them. They want them to do well, and they love just being around them."
Much like his own sons, Redmond and his twin brother, Pat, learned the game from their father, Pat Sr. While his father passed away in 2000 after battling cancer, Redmond will take comfort in the memories he shares with his dad this Father's Day.
"I know my dad's looking down and watching," Redmond said. "He's up there, and we definitely miss him."
As part of Major League Baseball's initiative, Father's Day is a time to raise awareness about prostate cancer. The lineup cards in the dugout were powder blue, as were the wrist bands worn by many of the players.
Prior to Sunday's game, rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez spent some time in the team's dugout with about a dozen children and dads to recognize Father's Day. Postgame, fathers had the opportunity to play catch with their sons on the outfield grass.
"It's incredible, today I had the chance to be with some kids, and hopefully they're going to have a good time and have some fun," said Fernandez, who was happy to have his mother come in from Tampa to be at the game. "It's incredible to do something like this for the kids."
Ozuna in midst of first slump as big leaguer
MIAMI -- When Giancarlo Stanton went on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain on April 30, Marcell Ozuna stepped in and shined.
The rookie batted .331 with 17 RBIs and 18 runs scored in his first 36 games at the Major League level.
Ozuna also recorded five outfield assists in right, tying for the third-best mark in the Majors among right fielders. He was so impressive, he was moved to center field and has remained in the cleanup spot since Stanton returned to Miami on June 10.
However, Ozuna has struggled since Stanton rejoined the club.
The 22-year-old was just 1-for-15 with one run over his last five games entering Sunday, seeing his batting average dip to .306.
"He's been in a little bit of a rough patch, probably the first rough patch he's had in the big leagues," manager Mike Redmond said. "But he's going to be fine. He's still confident. He believes in himself. We believe in him. He's just got to go out there and continue to stick with his approach."
• Marlins No. 1 pick Colin Moran is playing for the University of North Carolina in the College World Series on Sunday. The 21-year-old third baseman was the sixth overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft. The Marlins will wait until Moran is finished playing in the CWS before engaging in serious contract discussions.
• Miami has reached agreement with its compensatory second-round pick, reliever Colby Suggs. The right-hander from the University of Arkansas agreed to a $600,000 bonus, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America.
The Marlins also reached a deal with K.J. Woods, their fourth-round pick. Woods, a high school outfielder from South Carolina, signed for $459,200.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.