Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice with his team this evening.
The Wild Card race in the National League may have just gotten a little more interesting. MLB Network just reported that the Miami Marlins, in a stunning move, have officially activated Giancarlo Stanton from the disabled list- yes, the same Giancarlo Stanton that many reports said he was out for the season.
Manager Don Mattingly said Stanton is with the team, participated in batting practice, and is available to pinch hit tonight as the Marlins look to ease their slugger back one day at a time.
Stanton suffered a Grade 3 groin strain back in mid-August and ha has defied the odds by returning in just three weeks rather than the 8-10 weeks that was initially projected.
Before he was injured, Stanton was batting just .244, well off his career pace, but he was still dangerous in the power department, clubbing 25 homers with 70 RBIs in just 381 at-bats. He had a .826 OPS on the season with a career high .496 Slugging Pct. and a 2.6 WAR.
The Marlins had a healthy Wild Card lead before they lost Stanton, but that lead has since evaporated and the team has been in a virtual free fall.
After getting to a season-high nine games over .500 on July 31, the team has gone 11-22 since that point, most of those losses coming after they lost Stanton.
Stanton is a huge presence in the middle of that lineup and he carried the team in June and July, but I think this might be a case of too little too late especially if it takes a week or more for Stanton to start playing every day.
I don’t see this as something the Mets should be concerned about. They have a 4.0 game lead over the Marlins and are one game behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card entering play tonight.