At 15 games under five hundred, the Marlins refused to consider themselves sellers. But after losing one of their top bats, they might have to reconsider.
Giancarlo Stanton struck out in his final at-bat on Friday night against the Dodgers and according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro was bothered by swelling in his hand. Miami's starting right fielder was scheduled to undergo an MRI and CT scan on Saturday and according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Stanton has a broken bone in his left hand. While the Marlins have yet to make an official announcement, ESPN first reported Stanton is expected to be out for four to six weeks.
Stanton, 25, has anchored the Marlins' offense to this point in 2015. He has posted a .265/.346/.606 batting line to complement 27 home runs and 67 RBIs through 74 games and was on pace to hit 58 home runs. If the Marlins place Stanton on the disabled list, it would be his second notable stint in as many seasons. He missed the final 17 games of 2014 after being hit by a Mike Fiers fastball against the Brewers last season.
Although the Marlins have struggled with runners in scoring position, Stanton has thrived and has batted .344 with 12 home runs and 23 RBIs in 24 June games.
Marcell Ozuna can move to right field and the Marlins can opt to have Ichiro Suzuki play center. Suzuki, who is in pursuit of 3,000 career hits, has been a valuable left-handed bat off the bench (.275/.325/.320 through 71 games).
As Rosenthal notes, the Stanton injury could force the Marlins to sell. Core pieces such as Adeiny Hechavarria, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna might all be unavailable, however Dan Haren, Mat Latos, and Martin Prado are all veterans who could be dealt and are likely to draw a notable amount of interest.
The Marlins wanted to evaluate the club over a nine game homestand against the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Giants. But after being swept by St. Louis and dropping game one to Los Angeles, the Marlins might have already determined whether they will sell come the end of July.