Giancarlo Stanton’s season was thought to be over when news broke of his severe groin strain last week, though the slugger isn’t closing the door on a return. Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill told MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro that Stanton is aiming to play during the last week of the regular season and, as everyone in the organization hopes, the postseason as well.
Stanton suffered a Grade 3 strain, and the Marlins put a six-week timeline on his recovery in a best-case scenario. That means Stanton is expecting a minimal amount of recovery time in order to return for the Marlins’ last handful of regular season games. Hill said Stanton’s rehab process is progressing well, though “I don’t think we’ll be able to truly assess where he’s at until he is doing functional, on-field stuff.”
Groin and muscle strains can be difficult injuries to properly gauge, so while Stanton may simply be being optimistic, it could also be possible that his strain (severe as it is) heals quicker than projected and he is able to get back on the field. It has also been only a week into Stanton’s rehab, of course, so it seems far too soon to tell if the slugger has a realistic chance of playing against in 2016.
The Marlins have been linked to outfielders like Carlos Gomez (who has since joined the Rangers) and Jeff Francoeur in the wake of Stanton’s injury as the Fish look for a platoon partner for Ichiro Suzuki. The prospect of a final-week return for Stanton probably won’t impact this search, given the uncertainty of his recovery.