If and when the Marlins trade Giancarlo Stanton, it might serve them well to find someone else capable of putting the ball over the fence, at least once in a while. By coming up short again on Sunday, the Marlins have now gone eight straight games without a home run, making it the second-longest power drought in franchise history -- by one game. The 1993 expansion Marlins hold the mark with a nine-game homer-less streak.
The last Marlin to homer was Greg Dobbs on April 5 at Citi Field in New York. The team's two homers puts them last in the majors. The Home Run Sculpture is supposed to light up and whirl, spouting water and so forth. But the gigantic contraption has remained lifeless this season.
"I've heard it's great," manager Mike Redmond said following Sunday's loss. "I've heard it's quite a sight. I just haven't seen it yet."
Stanton has not only failed to homer or drive in a run, he remains sidelined with a shoulder bruise. Stanton said he doubts he'll play Monday when the Washington Nationals send out Jordan Zimmermann to start the three-game series. Stanton has three career homers against Zimmermann.
On top of that, ESPN's Buster Olney reported that the Texas Rangers are starting to pay closer attention to Stanton. Wrote Olney: "The Rangers are poking around and doing some early reconnaissance on how they could put together some kind of deal for Giancarlo Stanton."
For the second straight day, the Marlins have made a late lineup change due to an unexpected development. Manager Mike Redmond said reserve outfielder Austin Kearns was taken to a local hospital this morning after showing up to Marlins Park complaining of an irregular heartbeat.
"He came in with a speeding heart rate, so he went immediately to the hospital," Redmond said, adding that Kearns was accompanied by one of the Marlins' trainers. "He's over there being evaulated."
Kearns started Saturday and struck out in the ninth inning the batter before Chris Coghlan won the game with an infield hit. Kearns struggled in spring training and is hitless in 10 at bats this season.
"They just told me he came in this morning complaining that his heart was beating fast," Redmond said. "You don't mess around with those things."
Justin Ruggiano, who was a late scratch from Saturday's game due to tightness in his groin, took Kearns' spot in the lineup for today's game. The Marlins are also playing without Giancarlo Stanton, who is sidelined with a bruised left shoulder. Stanton said it may be a few days before he's able to return to the lineup.
"With Stanton out, we're very thin," Redmond said. "We're running out of options out there. So he's (Ruggiano) got to play. That's where we're at. It's crazy. We've had a lot of stuff, starting from the last week of spring training when we lost a couple of starters (pitchers), losing a first baseman, Stanton's out, Kearns is out, Ruggiano has tightened up....My first two weeks managing a major league baseball team has been an adventure. But we're still piecing it together."
Given the depleted state of the roster, the Marlins might be forced to make moves in order to bring in reinforcements.
"We can't play down two or three guys for very long," Redmond said. "There's too may unknowns right now. We've got to wait to see how Kearnsy is and see how Ruggiano does in the game today."
1. Pierre, lf; 2. Coghlan, cf; 3. Polanco, 3b; 4. Dobbs, 1b; 5. Ruggiano, rf; 6. Brantly, c; 7. Valaika, 2b; 8. Hechavarria, ss; 9. Slowey, p.