5/22/2014 4:12 P.M. ET
Healthy Wolf ready to embrace starting opportunity
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- After Jose Fernandez went down with his season-ending elbow injury, the Marlins acted quickly by bringing in a veteran presence to help stabilize the rotation.
On May 14, two days after Fernandez was placed on the disabled list, Randy Wolf was signed.
The 37-year-old, recovering from two Tommy John surgeries, was acquired to help log some innings while allowing the Marlins to not rush some of their pitching prospects.
Initially, Wolf pitched in relief, because prospect Anthony DeSclafani was given a chance to make two starts. But on Wednesday night, the club announced DeSclafani was being optioned to Triple-A New Orleans.
Wolf now will step into the rotation and make his first start on Sunday against the Brewers, one of his former teams.
As a Marlin, Wolf has thrown five innings of relief. His first relief stint resulted in an unconventional save. Because the lefty threw the final three innings of the game, he was awarded a save in Miami's 13-3 win over the Dodgers.
"It's nice to be back at the big league level and get those innings in," Wolf said. "It's only five innings, but I felt pretty good in those five innings. The biggest thing for me is the physical part."
Prior to signing with Miami, Wolf was 5-1 with a 4.50 ERA in six starts for Arizona's Triple-A Reno affiliate.
"This whole year, I've felt really good physically," Wolf said. "I've felt I've gotten a lot stronger with each start before I got here. That, to me, is a big thing. I feel like if I'm healthy, I've got a good chance to help the team win."
MLB RBI leader Stanton closing in on Marlins records
MIAMI -- Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is becoming more than just a power hitter. His fast start has also placed him in the category of run producer.
Stanton paced the Majors with 44 RBIs entering Thursday. He added his 45th RBI with a single in the sixth inning of Miami's 4-3 walk-off win.
At age 24, the imposing right fielder is figuring out how to knock in runs without necessarily knocking the ball over the wall. Another example came on Wednesday night in Miami's 14-5 win over the Phillies at Marlins Park.
Stanton went hitless in four at-bats, yet he knocked in a run with a groundout to second base. Thus far, Stanton is off to his best start in finding ways to produce runs.
"That's what is going to separate you," the slugger said. "Are you just going to get RBIs with homers or are you going to be an all-around threat?"
Stanton's best slugging season came in 2012, when he belted 37 homers and drove in 86 runs. His .608 slugging percentage was the best in the Majors.
A year ago, Stanton endured an injury-plagued season, which limited him to just 116 games. He finished with 24 homers and 62 RBIs.
In Marlins history, no player has reached 50 RBIs before June 1. With time running out in May, Stanton has a shot to reach that mark. According to STATS LLC, Mike Lowell in 2001 reached 50 RBIs faster than any player in club history. It took 57 games for the former All-Star third baseman to reach the mark.
The Marlins record for RBIs before the All-Star break also is held by Lowell, who had 76 in 2003.
Stanton has a chance to move up the RBI ladder.
The power-hitting right fielder also knows that he doesn't have to carry the offense by himself. Casey McGehee, who regularly bats behind Stanton, has 30 RBIs.
"I've got this guy hitting behind me," Stanton said. "He can knock them in if I don't."
Hatcher 'wasn't expecting' it, but reliever gets callup
MIAMI -- Opportunity knocked once again for Chris Hatcher, and the 29-year-old reliever is as surprised as anybody to be back in the big leagues.
The Marlins on Thursday selected the contract of Hatcher, who before the start of Spring Training was removed from the club's 40-man roster. But the right-hander accepted the opportunity to pitch at Triple-A New Orleans, and he has worked his way back to the big leagues.
"Pretty shocking," Hatcher said. "Wasn't expecting. I was throwing the ball well down there. I'll come up here and try to keep doing it and help the team get some outs."
To make room on the 40-man roster for Hatcher, Rafael Furcal was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. Furcal, on the DL since the start of the season, is doing baseball activities at the team's complex in Jupiter, Fla.
Furcal is recovering from a left hamstring strain and a right groin strain. There is no projected return date for the 36-year-old second baseman.
Hatcher, meanwhile, impressed at New Orleans, posting a 2.01 ERA in 22 1/3 innings, with 25 strikeouts and six walks.
The Marlins brought up Hatcher to replace right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who was optioned to New Orleans, where he will join the rotation.
Hatcher also is battling back from a five-game suspension stemming from an altercation he had with New Orleans teammate Sam Dyson. Hatcher struck Dyson, who sustained a broken jaw.
"I'm not going to get into the specifics of it," Hatcher said. "I've covered it with the media. But I've learned from it. I felt like I've become a better person because of it. Moving forward, I know things like that can't happen, which I knew that before. I put myself in a tough spot professionally and as a person and hope to move forward from it."
The Marlins are looking for strike-throwers in the bullpen, and Hatcher is an option to throw multiple innings. He has 29 games of big league experience in parts of three seasons.
• Jeff Baker suffered a bruised right shoulder after colliding with Domonic Brown on a groundout in the seventh inning on Thursday. Baker was pulled off the bag by Henderson Alvarez's throw. The out was made, but Baker was replaced by Garrett Jones in the ninth inning.
• The First-Year Player Draft is set for June 5-7, and the Marlins possess the second overall pick. Miami also has the largest bonus pool dollars to spend of any club. For 13 picks, they have a bonus pool of $14,199,300, which averages to $1,092,254 per player.
The Astros, who have the No. 1 overall pick, have a bonus pool of $13,362,200 for 11 picks. Their average per player is $1,214,745.
Miami and Houston are the only teams with pool money that exceeds $10 million.
• Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's sore left ankle is improving. He should be ready for Friday's series opener against the Brewers. But the decision will be made after the catcher is evaluated on Friday.