MIAMI — Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was replaced in the eighth inning on Saturday due to a sore right foot and ankle.
The 23-year-old experienced discomfort for most of the day, and in the second inning in Miami’s 9-2 loss to the Nationals, he started dealing with more pain.
With Miami trailing by five runs after seven innings, Stanton was replaced in the eighth inning. He had an X-ray taken on his foot and ankle, and it came back negative.
Stanton’s status is day-to-day, but it is likely he will be given Sunday’s series finale with the Nationals off.
Stanton initially rolled his right ankle while stepping on first base last Sunday at Atlanta in Miami’s 7-0 win over the Braves at Turner Field. He has played through some discomfort this past week.
“It was just one of those days,” Stanton said. “Today, it hurt, I don’t know why, more than almost the first day that it happened.”
There was not a specific play or moment that led to more intensified discomfort.
“A bunch of factors could have gone into it,” he said. “I’m just calling it a bad day, right now.”
Stanton is dealing with discomfort to both sides of his ankle, as well as his heel.
Justin Ruggiano moved from center field to right field to replace Stanton in the eighth inning, and rookie Jake Marisnick played center.
Stanton was hitless in three at-bats on Saturday, and he is batting .249 on the season with 19 homers and 46 RBIs.
– Joe Frisaro
MIAMI — If Jose Fernandez was able to put himself in position to make history, Marlins manager Mike Redmond was not going to deny him.
On Saturday, Redmond answered the unanswered question — would Fernandez have been allowed to go the distance to a complete a no-hitter?
The situation became moot, because the no-hit bid was foiled with one out in the sixth inning on pinch-hitter Zach Walters’ infield single.
Fernandez on Friday night flirted with no-hit history in Miami’s 7-0 win over the Nationals at Marlins Park.
Walters’ dribbler down the third base line was the lone hit Fernandez allowed in seven shutout innings. The hard-throwing rookie struck out nine before he was lifted after 94 pitches.
“I was fully ready to let him pitch that whole game, if he had the chance to go for it,” Redmond said on Saturday. “And that would have been it.”
Now with 165 2/3 innings pitched, Fernandez has one more scheduled start before he is shut down after facing the Braves on Sept. 11 in Miami.
Had Fernandez gone nine innings in quest for a no-hitter, the Marlins would have called it a season for the rookie. It never reached that point, but during the game, Redmond and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez were already thinking about how to deal with a potential no-hitter.
“Believe me, I was sitting there thinking it,” Redmond said. “Chuck and I, we weren’t even looking at each other. We knew.”
The Marlins have four no-hitters in their history, with the last being turned in by Anibal Sanchez against the D-Backs. Ironically, Fernandez was pursuing the no-hitter on the seventh anniversary of Sanchez’s no-hitter.
Fernandez is facing an innings limit of about 170.
Redmond said against the Braves, the plan for Fernandez will be the same as Friday. The rookie will be allowed to go as deep into the game as possible, depending on how he is doing. So while, Fernandez is 4 1/3 innings shy of 170, his performance will determine how far he goes in his final start.
– Joe Frisaro
MIAMI — Jose Fernandez’s prowess on the mound is well documented.
The 21-year-old is a strong National League Rookie of the Year candidate. He’s already set the Marlins record for strikeouts in a season by a rookie.
On Friday, Fernandez also moved up the charts with his hitting.
Fernandez had two singles, giving him nine hits on the season, which is the third most ever by a Marlins’ rookie pitcher.
Dontrelle Willis set the club mark with 14 hits in 58 at-bats (.241) in 2003. Scott Olsen was 11-for-58 (.190) in 2006.
Fernandez is now 9-for-46 (.196).
Most Hits by Marlins rookie pitcher
1) Dontrelle Willis 14 (2003)
2) Scott Olsen 11 (2006)
3) Jose Fernandez 9 (2013)
4) Jason Vargas 8 (2005)
– Joe Frisaro
MIAMI — Perhaps there will be some wiggle room in Jose Fernandez’s innings limit.
The Marlins’ rookie sensation is making his 27th start of the season on Friday night against the Nationals at Marlins Park.
Fernandez is at 158 2/3 innings, and the team a few days ago said the rookie is facing a firm 170 innings limit before he is shut down. Once that was announced, the question became: How would the remaining 12 innings be divided over two starts?
The natural assumption is, if he wasn’t laboring, he would go six innings on Friday and six on Sept. 11 in his last outing, which is scheduled to be at home against the Braves.
On Friday, manager Mike Redmond clarified where things stood with Fernandez in relation to how the innings would be dispersed. Before facing the Nationals, Redmond discussed the matter with the star rookie.
“We’re going to focus on tonight,” Redmond told the rookie right-hander. “I told Jose not to worry about all the talk about the innings, and how some people are saying it’s going to be six and six.
“I just told him, ‘Listen, this is how it’s going to go — tonight, you going to go out there and try to win a ballgame. If it’s seven innings, it’s seven innings. If it’s eight innings, it’s eight innings. Don’t worry about the other stuff. That’s how we’re going to do it. Just go to win a ballgame. We’ll worry about the innings after that for whatever is going to happen down the road.’ “
Even if Fernandez reaches eight innings on Friday, he is expected to make his final start on Sept. 11. Most likely, the rookie will be given the same advice that day, but we’ll have to see how it all shapes up after the hard-throwing right-hander does on Friday.
– Joe Frisaro
MIAMI — Friday night will mark game No. 41 Christian Yelich has played in the big leagues. It will be the 21-year-old’s first start in a position other than left field.
Yelich is getting the nod in center field, a position he is certainly familiar with in the Minor Leagues. He saw substantial time there in the past, including this season at Double-A Jacksonville.
But the Marlins are shuffling their lineup around in their series opener against the Nationals at Marlins Park.
Yelich shifting to center field opens up room for Chris Coghlan to play left field.
More than defense, the Marlins are looking to improve their offense. Coghlan and Yelich are each left-handed hitters.
Coghlan has seen substantial big league time in left field. But he has been working at third base, a position he played extensively in college at Ole Miss and in the Minor Leagues.
In two games at third, Coghlan has had six chances, and he’s committed one error.
Miami is coming off taking two of three against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Overall, however, it was a rough 3-6, three-city road trip.
Rookie of the Year candidate Jose Fernandez will be getting the start on Friday. It will be Fernandez’s second to last start before he is shut down.
1) Coghlan, LF
2) Solano, 2B
3) Yelich, CF
4) Stanton, RF
5) Morrison, 1B
6) Polanco, 3B
7) Hechavarria, SS
8) Mathis, C
9) Fernandez, P
– Joe Frisaro
ATLANTA — At last, there is clarity on the shut down date for Jose Fernandez.
The energized Marlins’ rookie will make two more starts, and they won’t combine for more than 12 total innings. So, barring a poor outing, look for the 21-year-old to go six innings in each of those games.
Manager Mike Redmond said on Saturday afternoon that Fernandez is looking at a firm innings maximum of 170 innings. Actually, it will be 170 2/3 innings, because he right now is at 158 2/3 innings.
Redmond also added that Fernandez will not pitch on the road, against the Cubs on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Instead, he is being pushed back a couple of days to Friday, Sept. 6 at Marlins Park. He will face the Nationals that day.
And Fernandez’s projected last start will be Sept. 11 at home against the Braves.
“That was the range as an organization that we felt comfortable leaving him around, 150-170, depending on how many starts he did,” Redmond said. “It was kind of the unknown at the beginning of the season, how he would do, and how he would perform. We were looking at ways to protect him, based on how many innings he had gone before. That’s the number we came up with.”
Fernandez comes off a tough 2-1 loss to the Braves on Friday night, his first setback since July 7.
A strong National League Rookie of the Year candidate, Fernandez is 10-6 with a 2.33 ERA in 26 starts. He set the Marlins rookie record for strikeouts in a season, which is now 173.
– Joe Frisaro
ATLANTA — Unless the Marlins plate seven or more runs on Saturday night, they will close out August with their lowest scoring output ever in the month in a non-strike season.
Miami has just 82 runs this month, and a string of nine straight games of scoring three or less.
The 2011 Marlins had 89 runs in August, the next lowest.
So barring a big night at the plate against the Braves, this will be the fewest runs the organization has ever witnessed over a full month of August.
The lone exception is 1994, in a season shortened by a work stoppage. That year, the Marlins had 51 runs in 11 games in August.
Showing how much of a struggle it has been at the plate for the Marlins this month is the fact the 1994 team had 13 homers in August, compared to 12 for this year’s team.
The high for runs in August is 149, turned in twice. The 1997 and 2009 squads each reached that total. The ’97 team, of course, went on to win the World Series. In ’09, the Marlins finished second in the NL East.
Miami hasn’t had a winning season since ’09.
The 1998 team, which finished with the most losses ever in club history, scored 121 runs in August.
Marlins runs in August
1994 51 (11 games)
– Joe Frisaro
ATLANTA — Not much has stood in Jose Fernandez’s way this season, so being two strikeouts away from setting a Marlins’ record shouldn’t be too startling.
When Fernandez takes the mound at Turner Field on Friday night, the 21-year-old will have winning foremost on his mind. The Marlins last won in the rookie’s last start, last Saturday at home against Colorado.
Since then, the team has dropped four straight, including three in a row at Washington.
From a personal standpoint, Fernandez is two strikeouts shy of setting a Marlins’ record for a rookie. He enters tonight against the Braves with 165.
In 2006, lefty Scott Olsen established set the team standard with 166. The most telling difference is Olsen reached his total in 180 2/3 innings, compared to 150 2/3 innings for Fernandez.
Because of his age and inexperience, Fernandez will be shut down after two more starts, at roughly 170 innings.
While Fernandez is 10-5 on a team with 49 total wins, the right-hander won’t get a chance to match the rookie record for victories. That was set by Dontrelle Willis, who was 14-6 during his NL Rookie of the Year season in 2003.
MARLINS Rookie strikeout leaders
1) Scott Olsen 166 (2006)
2) Jose Fernandez 165 (2013)
3) Dontrelle Willis 142 (2003)
4) Jesus Sanchez 137 (1998)
5) Josh Johnson 133 (2006)
6) Chuck Smith 118 (2000)
7) Josh Beckett 113 (2002)
8) Tony Saunders 102 (1997)
9) Ricky Nolasco 99 (2006)
10) Michael Tejera 95 (2002)
– Joe Frisaro
MIAMI — Facing the best certainly brings out the best in Jose Fernandez.
The Marlins’ ace did it again on Monday night, silencing the Dodgers in Miami’s 6-2 win at Marlins Park.
After striking out eight while allowing one earned run in six innings, Fernandez enhanced his National League Rookie of the Year chances. But if you dig deeper into the numbers, a case can be made the 21-year-old has been the best overall pitcher in the big leagues since late May.
Overall, Fernandez is 9-5 with a 2.41 ERA with 157 strikeouts in 145 2/3 innings. In his 24 starts, the Marlins are 15-9, remarkable when you consider the team has 48 total wins.
The turning point for Fernandez came after his May 27 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field. Born in Cuba, Fernandez attended high school in Tampa. Admittedly, he was amped up pitching in his home town.
The Rays tagged Fernandez for seven runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings.
Since May 28, statistically, Fernandez has put up the best numbers of any starting pitcher in either league.
STARTERS SINCE MAY 28
1) Jose Fernandez (Mia) 7-2, 1.64 ERA, 105 Ks, 93 1/3 IP
2) Clayton Kershaw (LAD) 7-4, 1.88 ERA, 105 Ks, 110 IP
3) David Price (TB) 6-1, 1.89 ERA, 57 Ks, 76 1/3 IP
4) Hiroki Kuroda (NYY) 5-5, 2.26 ERA, 77 Ks, 99 2/3 IP
5) Dillon Gee (NYM) 7-2, 2.27 ERA, 77 Ks, 103 IP
6) Yu Darvish (TEX) 5-3, 2.39 ERA, 109 ks, 86 2/3 IP
7) Bartolo Colon (OAK) 9-3, 2.42 ERA, 44 Ks, 93 IP
8) Max Scherzer (DET) 11-1, 2.42 ERA, 104 Ks, 104 IP
9) Matt Harvey (NYM) 4-4, 2.48 ERA, 113 Ks, 101 2/3 IP
10) Julio Teheran (ATL) 7-5, 2.53 ERA, 97 Ks, 92 2/3 IP
– Joe Frisaro
MIAMI — The Marlins on Monday placed Placido Polanco on the seven-day concussion disabled list three days after he was drilled on the helmet by a pitch.
Replacing Polanco is Gil Velazquez, who had his contract selected from Triple-A New Orleans. To free up 40-man roster space, Marcell Ozuna was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
In the eighth inning on Friday night against the Giants, Polanco was plunked on the left side of his helmet by Santiago Casillas’ 94 mph fastball.
On Saturday, Polanco was upbeat and said he was feeling substantially better. He didn’t have a headache, but he admitted to feeling a little dizzy.
Polanco, 38, has split playing time at third base with Ed Lucas.
In 91 games, Polanco is batting .253.
Velazquez, 32, will be making his second stint with the Marlins. A year ago, the utility infielder appeared in 19 games with Miami in the second half.
Velazquez is batting .275 in 67 with New Orleans.
Ozuna is out for the season after undergoing surgery to his left thumb.
– Joe Frisaro