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Stanton still a work in progress on defense; LoMo likely to DH in Cleveland

ATLANTA -- He's tied for the most errors among outfielders in the National League with five and yet has made SportsCenter's Top 10 plays two nights in a row this week for making highlight reel grabs.

Giancarlo StantonGiancarlo Stanton continues to look great one minute and lost the next in right field for the Marlins. But that's what you get, Marlins outfield coach Gary Thurman said Thursday, when you've got a 22-year old who has loads of talent, but loses his concentration now and again.

"He just has to concentrate on every single play," Thurman said.

"[His potential] is through the roof. He's got all the tools. He's got a great arm. He's got good speed. He just needs to play a little bit and get in some situations he hasn't been in and maybe think ahead a little bit about what can happen so he's prepared for it when it does happen. But, you see all the tools he posses. If he hones those things in, the sky is the limit for him."

Stanton's diving grab of a Jason Heyward line drive Wednesday saved two key runs from scoring and kept the Marlins ahead 3-1 in a game they eventually won 8-4 after Stanton belted a two-run home run later in the game. 

According to baseballreference.com, Stanton came into Thursday's game on defense worth 25 total zone runs this season -- that's 17 more runs than second place Jose Tabata of the Pirates. His range factor (putouts and assists divided by game played) is also first among National League right fielders at 2.35. 

But his five errors bug him. "A lot of stupid, stupid mistakes this year," Stanton said of his defense. "Like that ball [booted in the seventh inning Wednesday], it snaked on me a little bit. That's about all my errors -- easy plays like that. I've just got to just learn from it and keep improving."


With the Marlins scheduled to face three right-handers in Cleveland this weekend, manager Ozzie Guillen said he'll likely use Logan Morrison as the team's designated hitter. Morrison, the team's regular starting left fielder, has battled swelling and soreness in his right knee since having it scoped in December.

He's played in 34 of the Marlins 38 games games -- counting Thursday -- but has appeared in eight of those games as a pinch hitter. Morrison hasn't started in more than four consecutive games without a day off or a break from fielding yet this season. 

"It's kind of unpredictable when you play on it every other day or every day," Morrison said of the soreness. "It's frustrating because I want to be in there every day. It's kind of tough to get going. You're feeling good with your swing and then you get a day off."

Guillen said trainers have told him Morrison will be ready to go full-time come "June or July," but "right now we have to monitor him very carefully."