ATLANTA -- Mike Stanton, in the throes of a 1-for-32 slump (or 0-for-24, depending on your preference) will observe tonight's series opener from the Marlins' bench. Manager Edwin Rodriguez gives the rookie the night off after watching him suffer through another hitless night on Thursday, a night in which just about everyone else in the lineup made a contribution of some sort.
"It's amazing," Rodriguez said. "Two weeks ago, he was the National League player of the week. And then, all of a sudden, he got in a slump. But we expect that from a young player. He's fine. He knows what he's doing. I'm more concerned about his head."
Rodriguez said he and hitting coach John Mallee met privately with Stanton on Friday to talk about his slump.
"I don't want him to lose any confidence," Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said Stanton probably won't be out of the lineup for more than one day. Emilio Bonifacio will be starting in right. Chad Tracy gets the start at third and Brad Davis will be behind the plate for Chris Volstad.
The lineup: 1. Cameron Maybin, cf; 2. Logan Morrison, lf; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Dan Uggla, 2b; 5. Gaby Sanchez, 3b; 6. Chad Tracy, 3b; 7. Emilio Bonifacio, rf; 8. Brad Davis, c; 9. Chris Volstad, p.
NOLASCO UPDATE....It's official. Ricky Nolasco is a sure thing for Saturday's start. There was no swelling on Friday from Thursday's battery of drills, ones in which he practiced pickoff throws, fielding bunts, etc. However, Rodriguez said Nolasco will be closely monitored when he takes the mound at Turner Field.
Rodriguez also said he wouldn't be surprised to see the Braves try to test Nolasco's injured (torn meniscus) right knee, perhaps by dropping down a bunt or two.
"Not only the Braves, but I think every team will monitor that and I think they will try to take advantage of that," Rodriguez said. "That's why we did what we did yesterday. We wre trying to make sure that he was able to field his position. He did that, and he did everything normally."