Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s okay, though, we’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
* * *
The Marlins were in a good, not great place: they ended Sunday just half game back of the wild card spot held by the Cardinals. This just a couple weeks after filling in some roster holes at the trade deadline, and a little over a month since Giancarlo Stanton started to hit like Giancarlo Stanton again — the Marlins right fielder had been on a .300/.364/.625 tear with 10 homers in his last 32 games. Miami might have to go without Stanton or his bat the rest of the season, though, as an MRI revealed a Grade 3 left groin strain on the slugger, putting what’s left of 2016 in jeopardy.
Stanton might be back in six weeks — that’s if everything goes perfectly in his recovery. The problem is that six weeks from Sunday is Sept. 25, so even Stanton returning as soon as possible means he’s going to miss all but the final seven games of the Marlins’ season. If Miami can grab a wild card spot and hold on to it despite Stanton’s absence, those seven games will be huge, especially since they would have him for an eighth in the NL Wild Card Game and beyond if they manage to win. Getting to that point sans Stanton is going to be a difficult task, though.
The Marlins’ season isn’t officially over, just like Stanton’s isn’t. They’re only half game out, and they weathered his absence once already when he was in the midst of a terrible slump that saw him hit .187/.266/.325 for a 45-game stretch from mid May through early July. Ichiro Suzuki is going to end up seeing a lot more playing time with Stanton on the shelf, and while Ichiro is a downgrade over the version of Stanton that can slug over .600 for months at a time, he’s also having himself a fine, above-average campaign at 42. If he can keep it going, the Marlins still have a shot. And there are just over six weeks left in the season, anyway: A whole lot can happen in either direction in such short a time, and the Cardinals certainly aren’t invincible.
- The Marlins were looking into bringing Alex Rodriguez aboard after the Yankees released him before Stanton went down with an injury, as they already had a hole at first base with Justin Bour injured. So, to no one’s surprise, that process is starting to intensify now that they’re down another hitter, with Jim Bowden going so far as to say it "will" happen.
- A-Rod is also not the only option the Marlins have to consider.
- Michael Baumann would like to remind you that Giancarlo Stanton is still a baseball god, even if he’s susceptible to injuries like the mortals.
- Steven Matz nearly threw a no-hitter for the Mets on Sunday, making it into the eighth before Alexei Ramirez broke it up with a single.
- Bucs Dugout recently ran a two-part series on whether the Pirates were becoming the new Rays. Part one published early last week, with part two running on Sunday.
- Mark Teixeira might have at times seemed disappointing for the Yankees, but relative to other major contracts like his, New York ended up lucky.
- Rich Hill’s debut with the Dodgers has been pushed even further back, as his rehab start scheduled for Monday has been canceled, and Los Angeles is now figuring out if he’s going to throw to hitters later this week.
- Mookie Betts, 23, became the second-youngest player in MLB history to record two games with three homers in the same season. You can watch all three dingers off the D-Backs in succession thanks to the magic of streaming video.