It is looking more and more that Giancarlo Stanton won’t return to the lineup within the 4-to-6 week timeframe that was first projected following surgery for a broken hamate bone in his left hand.
It will be five weeks Sunday since the surgery, and Stanton is only now hitting off a tee. Once he is able to swing with no pain, which he said he continues to feel, he’ll advance to flips and then hitting on the field in practice.
Stanton said the recovery process is “definitely slower” than he anticipated.
“I think what you’re going to have in Giancarlo is that once it really kicks in and he gets to that comfort level where he’s good with turning it loose, then it will be a fast thing,” said Marlins manager Dan Jennings. “But he’s got to get to that level first. He’s still building some strength in his wrist. It’s not there yet.”
Jose Fernandez has never heard of LaMarr Hoyt or Johnny Allen.
But Fernandez’s name could soon be linked to theirs -- perhaps as early as Sunday -- when he puts his perfect 15-0 home record on the line at Marlins Park.
Hoyt and Allen share the major league record for most home victories without a loss to begin a career: 16. Fernandez could match that mark with a win Sunday over the Padres to go to 16-0 at Marlins Park.
“Hopefully I can get to this number,” Fernandez said, pointing to the No. 16 on the back of his jersey. “I’ll be really happy if I do.”
Fernandez doesn’t draw an easy assignment. The Padres are sending out James Shields, who has gone 6-2 in his career against the Marlins but has lost four of his past five decisions this season.
“It’s a tough one tomorrow because Shields is pitching,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez will be facing the Padres for the first time since May 9, 2014 -- the last game he pitched before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Brad Hand will likely move into Dan Haren’s slot in the rotation, beginning with Tuesday’s game against the Mets.
“Right now, we feel like he deserves that opportunity,” Jennings said.
Hand has started three times this season, going 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA.
For his career, Hand is 5-19 with a 4.69 ERA in 34 starts.
For the time being, at least, Hand and rookie Jose Urena, who started Saturday, are filling the rotation spots belonging to Haren and Mat Latos, both of whom were traded this week.
The Marlins called up rookie left-handers Adam Conley and Chris Reed from Triple A New Orleans on Saturday. Originally, the Marlins intended to add catcher Tomas Telis to the roster.
Telis was acquired from Texas on Friday in a trade for reliever Sam Dyson.
But due to bullpen usage in Friday’s 11-inning loss, Jennings said that it was decided the Marlins needed extra relief help.
Conley was up with the Marlins previously this season, recording his first major league win on July 11 in what was his first big-league start. Reed has never pitched in the majors.
Reed was acquired from the Dodgers in a July 15 trade for pitcher Grant Dayton. A native of London, England, Reed would become the first pitcher from that country to pitch in the majors since Phil Stockman of the Braves in 2008.
Reed was selected by the Dodgers with the 16th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 amateur draft, two spots after the Marlins drafted Fernandez.