7/2/2014 12:19 A.M. ET
Furcal hopes to return in less than six weeks
By Joe Frisaro and Maria Torres / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Marlins second baseman Rafael Furcal said Tuesday he could return from a Grade 3 left hamstring strain in early August. The 36-year-old was diagnosed with the injury and placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 22 with no timetable for his return.
But Furcal said before his team's first game against the Phillies that he could be ready to return sooner than expected. Doctors told him he would need at least six weeks from when he injured himself before he could get back in a game.
"I think every day I get better and better and I think [it will be] less than that," he said. "I'm very optimistic [about coming back this year]."
Furcal strained his hamstring on June 21 when he tried to leg out a double-play grounder in the third inning against the Mets.
Furcal missed the first two months of the season with a different hamstring injury that he sustained in Spring Training and a groin strain suffered during his rehab. He finally made his Marlins debut on June 13 and ended up starting in eight games before hurting himself again.
"It's tough for me," Furcal said. "[I did] a lot of exercise, I get it strong, and then when I get to Spring Training, I was feeling good. Then that happened and it was very frustrating.
"I'm very positive. I hope [I'll be back]."
Marlins reaffirm Stanton not on market
MIAMI -- Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill, responding to the leaked Astros trade notes, repeated on Tuesday that Giancarlo Stanton is not available on the trade market.
Deadspin.com on Monday published proprietary information that was hacked from the Astros' database. It included a number of private conversations between the Astros and other clubs.
One item, dated Nov. 15, 2013, the day after the General Managers Meetings concluded in Orlando, Fla., mentioned the Marlins and Stanton.
The Marlins publicly stated before the meetings that Stanton wasn't available. Hill noted again on Tuesday that the slugger is not being shopped.
"Unfortunately, whatever they put in their system was leaked," Hill said. "We know what the truth was. We've never shopped him. I told you guys from Day 1 last winter. We never shopped him. We never intended on doing anything. We shut it down, so it wouldn't be an issue."
The Marlins on Monday, a scheduled off day, called Stanton to inform the right fielder that he is not being traded.
Hill added that the Marlins receive calls all the time about their players.
"I would think that clubs like our players," Hill said. "We have good players. We do get calls. It never was a consideration."
Shoulder inflammation sends Ramos to 15-day DL
MIAMI -- Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation following the Marlins' 5-4 win in 11 innings over the Phillies on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
Ramos, who threw a career-high 50 pitches in 1 2/3 innings in the Marlins' 14-inning loss to the Phillies last Thursday, underwent an MRI that revealed the inflammation on Friday. He did not pitch in the series against Oakland in hopes that extended rest would relieve the soreness.
Ramos' stint is retroactive to June 27. A corresponding roster move will be announced on Wednesday. The team is expected to bring up a position player, and the likely choice is Justin Bour, who was not in Triple-A New Orleans' lineup on Tuesday.
The past few days the Marlins have been carrying 13 pitchers and 12 position players. Bour is a first baseman and a left-handed hitting option off the bench.
Ramos tested his arm on Tuesday, long-toss throwing for the first time since his outing at Philadelphia. Although he felt considerably better than in recent days, the Marlins are taking no chances.
Ramos and Mike Dunn lead the Marlins' relievers in appearances with 39.
Prior to the 50 pitches he threw at Philadelphia, Ramos' high pitch count was 33 in one inning on June 15.
"It's a little sore. Nothing more than inflammation," Ramos said. "As a precaution, we want to make sure everything is alright."
The bullpen will miss Ramos while he's out. He's become vital in late innings, racking up 12 holds, a 4-0 record and a 2.17 ERA. In June alone, he posted a 0.64 ERA in 14 frames, making him one of the most effective Miami relievers during that month. Only Bryan Morris' 0.00 ERA in 16 2/3 innings was better.
The Marlins hope to rely on Morris and righty Kevin Gregg, their most experienced reliever, to pick up Ramos' slack. Gregg, however, allowed the Phillies to tie the game Tuesday and was tagged with a blown save after allowing back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning. He was lifted for Dunn, who recorded the final out of the inning.
Relievers don stars and stripes for World Cup
MIAMI -- With Venezuelan native Henderson Alvarez slated to take the mound for the Marlins on Monday night, the Marlins' clubhouse soundtrack featured a lot of Latin American influence, with salsa music blasting from Alvarez's new stereo.
But on the other side of the clubhouse on reliever row, right-hander Chris Hatcher pulled on an American Flag tank top for the U.S. Team's World Cup match vs. Belgium, which they lost, 2-1. His only complaint -- that it was too small. The website he purchased it from did not have any other sizes.
They also only had two shirts in stock, so he and Mike Dunn were the only ones wearing patriotic attire. While Hatcher's fit well, Dunn's stretched tightly over his chest.
After Hatcher and Dunn posed for a picture, closer Steve Cishek, who was supposed to receive a tank top in Hatcher's order, lamented that he didn't have an American jersey he could wear.
"You can't find an American jersey [in Miami]," Hatcher said. "The soccer store in the Dolphin Mall didn't have them, Nike didn't have them, none of the sports stores had them."
• Hechavarria, who's been on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right triceps since June 25 (retroactive to June 21), has been throwing and taking swings in the cage. He's eligible to come off the DL on Sunday in St. Louis, and Redmond is hopeful he'll be ready.
"We've got it lined up for him to start playing if he's feeling good and his arm's feeling healthy for him to be done and ready to go on the sixth," Redmond said.
• Left-handed reliever Donnie Joseph, whom the Marlins acquired from the Royals on Monday in return for cash considerations, arrived at Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday. The Marlins hope he will be ready to be activated in a few days.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.