8/15/2014 10:54 P.M. ET
Walks to Stanton not altering Redmond's strategy
Thursday latest example of bunting runner, leaving first open for free pass to slugger
By Joe Frisaro and Maria Torres / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Intentional walks have been so common for Giancarlo Stanton that Marlins manager Mike Redmond occasionally will sacrifice bunt ahead of the slugger no matter the situation in the late innings.
It came up in the ninth inning on Thursday in the Marlins' 5-4 win over the D-backs in 10 innings.
Christian Yelich singled to open the inning, and Donovan Solano bunted him over to second, setting up the expected. With the potential winning run at second and Stanton at the plate with a base open, the intentional walk was issued.
Arizona's strategy worked because Casey McGehee tapped into an inning-ending double play.
Miami did celebrate its 10th walk-off win an inning later on Marcell Ozuna's double.
The question remains, how will manager Mike Redmond handle similar situations where he knowingly is taking the bat out of Stanton's hands.
"We've done it quite a bit, and it's worked," Redmond said. "We go by situation."
Stanton's 20 intentional walks are by far the most in baseball. Ruben Tejada, who often bats eighth for the Mets, is next with 11, followed by Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt (10).
Only four times in club history has a Marlins player been intentionally walked as many as 20 times. Miguel Cabrera holds the franchise record with 27 in 2006. In '07, Cabrera had 23. Carlos Delgado reached 20 in 2005.
Some teams have moved the line and taken their chances with McGehee, who has been productive, batting .339 with runners in scoring position, which is fourth highest in the National League.
"You leave it up to them, whether they want to pitch to Stanton or not," Redmond said. "Sometimes they've pitched to him. McGehee has done a great job driving in runs."
If Solano swings away, there is always a chance he will tap into a double play, and teams would still pitch Stanton carefully whether the bases were empty or not in a tie game.
"If [Solano] swings away and the runner moves up, they're going to walk Stanton anyway," Redmond said. "If he singles there, and it's first and third, they're going to walk him anyway. That's going to happen. There are a lot of scenarios where they're going to walk him.
"In that situation, for me, getting that runner to second base is important, knowing they're going to walk him in almost every scenario anyway. But that's a feel thing, too."
With Alvarez returning, DeSclafani optioned
MIAMI -- The return of Henderson Alvarez to the mound on Saturday meant there was going to be the odd man out of the Marlins' pitching staff.
Anthony DeSclafani was the one, being optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, the team announced after Friday night's 3-2 loss to the D-backs.
The 24-year-old was recalled on Aug. 8 amidst a flurry of moves that included the trade of Jacob Turner to the Cubs. DeSclafani appeared in two games for the Marlins and struck out three batters. His last outing was against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
DeSclafani has had three stints with Miami this year, the first two as a starter. In five starts across May and June, he went 1-2 with a 7.40 ERA.
For the Zephyrs this year, he's compiled a 2-3 record while posting a 3.09 ERA and holding batters to a .222 average.
Furcal's season over after just nine games
MIAMI -- Nine games at the Major League level is all Rafael Furcal is going to get this year. The infielder, who signed with the Marlins this past winter to play second base, will undergo surgery on Wednesday in Miami to remove scar tissue from the left hamstring that's plagued him all year.
Furcal will spend six to eight weeks recovering from the procedure, knocking him out of play until the end of October.
Although he hasn't played regularly since 2012, the former All-Star shortstop isn't ready to give up baseball. The 36-year-old infielder wants to participate in the Winter League in his native Dominican Republic.
"I'm just embarrassed because I signed with this team so eagerly," said Furcal, who was supposed to solidify second base for Miami and provide veteran leadership at the top of the order. "I live here, it's a young team and who wouldn't want to be part of it when we're doing so well right now? I know that if I had gotten to play and stay healthy, I could have at least done my share."
It's been a while since Furcal has spent significant time in the Major Leagues. He was looking forward to returning to action with the Marlins this season after missing all of 2013 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
But in Spring Training, his left hamstring began to bother him. The discomfort was enough to land him on the 15-day disabled list to start the season. When he was ready to come back from that, he was sidelined with a groin strain throughout May.
He didn't make his 2014 debut with Miami until June 13 -- and once he did, he was only up for nine games before the hamstring started nagging him again. He sustained a Grade 3 strain trying to beat out a double-play grounder in a loss to the Mets on June 21.
The Marlins initially put him on the 15-day DL, then transferred him to the 60-day DL on July 19. At that point, he had been optimistic he could suit up again in August. But as the weeks passed, news didn't get any better.
"I didn't want to have surgery," Furcal said. "I tried all I could, but there's only so much you can do when you can't run out on the field and play [without discomfort]. I can't deal with it anymore. I can't even walk without it bothering me."
But the veteran still showed up to games at Marlins Park and was a consistent presence in a clubhouse whose average age is 27.9 (eighth youngest in the Majors, according to ESPN). Even though he didn't get to make a big impact on the team's place in the standings, Furcal's influence was felt elsewhere, especially on his younger Latin teammates like Marcell Ozuna and Adeiny Hechavarria.
"It doesn't matter that he hasn't been playing. He's been great to have around," said Hechavarria, a shortstop who's gleaned a lot from watching videos of his defense with Furcal. "Sometimes he'll show me what I did wrong to cause errors and why I did it, go through every step with me. He's helped me get better."
• Second baseman Derek Dietrich, who's been on the DL since July 4 with a right wrist strain (retroactive to July 2), will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter on Saturday. He has been swinging the bat for 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.