Stanton takes early batting practice

Justin Ruggiano has some fun during BP, bringing out a giant bat to break the stress of a team in a hitting slump.

Justin Ruggiano has some fun during BP, bringing out a giant bat to break the stress of a team in a hitting slump.

MIAMI — Some reason for optimism after Giancarlo Stanton took early batting practice on Tuesday afternoon.

The Marlins slugger tested his bruised left shoulder, and he didn’t experience any discomfort.

“He took batting practice, and we’re just going to wait and see the way it responds,” manager Mike Redmond said. “He hasn’t done anything in five days. We’ll see how it feels throughout the day, and tomorrow, and we’ll go from there.”

Stanton last took BP on Friday, but he was scratched after experiencing some discomfort. An MRI taken on Saturday revealed a bruise, and he has felt a pinch when raising his arm. But on Tuesday, he was considerably better, and tested the shoulder.

Still, he isn’t ready to return. The team will see how the shoulder feels on Wednesday.

“He said it felt good, it felt a lot better,” Redmond said. “That’s encouraging. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m hoping that he shows up tomorrow and it feels even better. That will be a real encouraging sign.”

Also on Tuesday, Austin Kearns was back with the team. Kearns did some throwing and catching, but he hasn’t been cleared to resume baseball activities.

Kearns was hospitalized overnight on Sunday due to an irregular heartbeat.

First baseman Joe Mahoney, on the DL with a strained intercostal, continues his rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter. The left-handed hitting first baseman could be close to returning.

There also is some encouragement at the Minor League level. Christian Yelich was used as the designated hitter in an extended spring game in Jupiter. Yelich went hitless in four at-bats. He has been out with a left heel bruise.

Outfielders Jake Marisnick (broken left hand) and Marcell Ozuna (broken left wrist) have been playing in extended spring games, but they are now expected to join Class A Jupiter. Both are expected to join Double-A Jacksonville in a few days when the Suns return from their road trip.

Right-hander Jacob Turner, in Triple-A, was struck on the leg by a comeback drive in his last start. He was taken out of the game. The right-hander still may make his next scheduled start. If not, he isn’t expected to miss more than one start.

Joe Frisaro

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