9/3/2014 12:25 A.M. ET
Realmuto's return to bigs on hold for Double-A playoffs
By Joe Frisaro and Maria Torres / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Catcher J.T. Realmuto's return to the Marlins has been put on hold for a while longer. His Double-A Jacksonville Suns clinched their first playoff berth since 2010 with a win over the Mobile Baybears on Monday, and Realmuto will stay with the team for the duration of its postseason run.
Although having a third catcher among their September callups is high on Miami's list of priorities, the club believes going through the playoff experience will be more beneficial to Realmuto than playing as a backup in the big leagues.
"I think the more times you get into those situations, in that environment, the better off you are when you come here," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "It's so different -- the pressure, the excitement. It's all part of the learning process. You have to learn how to play in the playoffs, not just learn how to be successful in the big leagues."
Realmuto, the Marlins' No. 7 prospect hit .299 with eight homers and 62 RBIs in 97 games with the Suns this year. Realmuto got the chance to fill in at the Major League level when Jarrod Saltalamacchia went down with a concussion in June, and he was recalled again in July, although he didn't play. In seven games for the Marlins, he went 4-for-20 with five RBIs.
Stanton reaches 100-RBI mark for first time
MIAMI -- After Giancarlo Stanton hit his 34th homer and drove in his 99th run of the season on Monday, he came just shy of hitting another home run in four of his next five turns, including Tuesday's game.
But in the third inning of the Marlins' 8-6 loss to the Mets on Tuesday, Stanton got the best of a Jon Niese four-seam fastball, putting enough muscle behind it for it to land in the fake water of the home run structure in center field, just above the scoreboard.
The blast, his 35th of the year, drove in two runs and brought the Marlins within one run of the Mets. It also put Stanton just over the century mark for the first time in his career. The 101 runs Stanton has knocked in this year are the most any Marlin has had since Dan Uggla recorded 105 RBIs in 2010.
"We were down four and with one swing we were right back in the game," manager Mike Redmond said. "That's what he brings. He has that ability to change a game with one swing. There's not a lot of those guys out there."
Preston Wilson set the club record of 121 RBIs in '00. Only 11 Marlins had driven in 100 or more runs in club history before Stanton joined the ranks, although the mark had been reached 15 times before Tuesday. The 24-year-old also joins Gary Sheffield as the only two Marlins players to hit 35-plus homers and have 100-plus RBIs in a season. Sheffield hit 42 blasts and drove in 120 runs for the Marlins in '96.
Top prospect Heaney could fill in for Alvarez
MIAMI -- Don't count out Henderson Alvarez returning to the Marlins' rotation this month. It's just a matter of exactly when.
As a matter of fact, the All-Star right-hander isn't completely ruled out from making his next scheduled start.
Alvarez exited the Marlins' 9-6 win over the Mets on Monday in the third inning with a left oblique strain. On either Wednesday or Thursday, he is expected to throw a bullpen session to determine if he is ready for his next start.
"That's to be determined, and it's really depending on how he feels. The plan is for him to throw a bullpen to show if he is ready to go," manager Mike Redmond said. "We definitely want to make sure he's feeling good, and is 100 percent ready to go."
If Alvarez is not, an option to fill in is Miami's No. 1 prospect, Andrew Heaney.
Heaney, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, infielder Enrique Hernandez and first baseman Justin Bour were recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday as rosters expanded for September.
DeSclafani adds long-relief/spot depth, and Hernandez and Bour become bench players for the stretch run.
Exactly how Heaney will be used has yet to be determined. The 23-year-old made four starts for Miami in the first half, going 0-3 with a 6.53 ERA. His last start was on July 5 at St. Louis, where he gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Heaney had a solid season in the Minor Leagues, posting a 9-6 record with a 3.28 ERA in 137 1/3 innings between Double-A Jacksonville and Triple-A New Orleans.
With the Marlins, Heaney will get a chance to refine his skills with pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.
"The plan is for him to continue to pitch, and to work," Redmond said. "I know he will work with Chuck on a lot of different things. We'll plan on where we can slot him into some games, and get him some work."
The Marlins are off on Thursday, which adds some flexibility on when Alvarez returns.
"I woke up feeling better," Alvarez said. "I'm just going to undergo treatment and we'll see how it goes from there. I've never had an oblique problem before."
Utility man Hernandez among September callups
MIAMI -- September callups came through the Marlins' clubhouse on Tuesday, and among them was utility man Enrique Hernandez.
The 23-year-old rookie first joined the Marlins at the non-waiver Trade Deadline when he came over with Jarred Cosart from the Astros. He was hitless in seven at-bats before being sent down to Triple-A New Orleans.
That rough stretch continued in New Orleans, as he went 1-for-16 in his first five games. But he was able to figure out the issues with his swing and drum up a .303 average in his last 16 games.
"Yeah, I wasn't doing so well at the beginning, coming down from the big leagues and all that," Hernandez said. "But I got the Astros to send me video from when I was doing well and that helped me get back to it."
Staying hot might be hard for Hernandez, though, as he won't be getting a lot of playing time yet. He and Justin Bour, also called up on Tuesday, will play off the bench for now. Miami is still poised to fight for a National League Wild Card spot, and manager Mike Redmond will stick with the players he's had all season to make that happen.
"The guys that have been grinding and playing, those guys are gonna play," Redmond said. "It's a great opportunity for guys to come up and be a part of us trying to make the playoffs. But the guys that we've been running out there are the guys that are gonna play."
Hernandez's ability to play all over the field won't go fully untapped, though. He might not be able to stage a full audition for his future role with the Marlins, but he will still be a factor, especially defensively.
"This is a time where we've seen these guys a little bit -- haven't seen them for an extended period of time -- these guys will be options for us off the bench," Redmond said. "As far as how much they play or pinch-hit will be determined as we go. … [Hernandez] can play a lot of positions. It's always nice to have versatile pieces on the bench."
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.