The Marlins aren't just hitting more home runs this season. They're doing a good job teasing at least one teammate who has yet to club one himself.
Third baseman Casey McGehee said Monday he recently found a set of weights inside his locker. It's among the many subtle, "fun" hints McGehee said his teammates have been leaving behind for him lately.
McGehee, who finished second in Japan's Pacific League last season with 28 homers, is the only clean-up hitter with at least 60 at-bats this season yet to hit a home run. Yet, he ranks seventh in the No. 4 spot in RBI with 16, and tied for 20th overall with 20 RBI.
"It doesn't bother me too much," McGehee said of the teasing. "I just remind some of the guys in here that I've got more [career] homers than they do. Outside of that, it's not too big a deal. I like to think I'm going to get one in before we wrap it up for the year."
In case you haven't noticed, the Marlins are tied for sixth in major league baseball with 33 homers -- 21 of those have come at home. Last year they didn't hit their 33rd home run of the season until June 11th, their 64th game of 2013. They hit a total of 36 homers at home, an MLB-worst 95 for the season.
According to Stats LLC, Marlins Park has seen the greatest up-tick in homers of any MLB venue this season. Last year a homer occurred every 72.5 at bats at Marlins Park. It's now up to 42.3 percent this season.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond, however, doesn't want McGehee to change his approach at the plate.
"We’ve talked to him about it a little bit, don’t get caught up in the home runs, just keep driving in the runs," Redmond said. "We talked about him hitting behind Stanton and there are going to be RBI situatoins. We just need those guys to get driven in. It doesn’t matter how. I don’t think anybody is asking him to hit home runs or be a power hitter. We just want him to drive those runs in and that’s what he's been able to do.
Even though he put up impressive numbers (.269, 8 HRs, 31 RBI) and currently leads the National League in homers (10) and all of baseball in RBI (36), Giancarlo Stanton was not named the NL's Player of the Month on Monday. Those honors went to Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki (.364, 7 HRs, 22 RBI).
Stanton was hardly bothered. Even though he feels like his approach at the plate has been the most consistent he's ever had to start a season, Stanton said Monday he's also had some really bad games and really bad at-bats.
"You have a few days where it's like 'Have you even played baseball before?' And then you kind of lock in, stick to your plan and not worry about anything else," Stanton said. "Whether I am or not [getting more pitches to hit] I'm just being more aggressive and putting them where they need to be. I'm not missing as many pitches when I am getting pitched to as I was previous."
Stanton said the opposition has been using a lot more shifts against him this season, usually placing the second baseman to left side of the of the bag since he's always been a pull hitter. But Stanton said he's been trying to teach himself "not to pull off balls" and to go the other way.
"That's been my problem," Stanton said. "When I have bad games or not seeing the ball well I'm not giving myself time to let [the pitch] get deep and understand right field is just as successful as pulling the ball."
> Jose Fernandez, hit on a Dee Gordon ground ball in Sunday's 5-4 win over the Dodgers, said the bruise in his left inner thigh "was hurting a lot" Sunday night. But he said he woke up feeling a lot better and did all the conditioning work he was supposed to do on Monday.
> Redmond celebrated his 43rd birthday on Monday and was treated to lunch from Joe Stone Crabs by the Marlins brass. His twin brother Patrick sent the team photos of Redmond as a child. The team put them up inside the clubhouse on a TV screen for everyone to see.
> Mets (16-14): 1. Eric Young Jr. LF, 2. Daniel Murphy 2B, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. Curtis Granderson CF, 5. Bobby Abreu RF, 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis d'Arnaud C, 8. Omar Quintanilla SS, 9. Jonathan Niese LHP.
> Marlins (16-15): 1. Christian Yelich CF, 2. Ed Lucas 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 6. Jeff Baker 1B, 7. Reed Johnson LF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.
Jose Fernandez didn't get the win Sunday against the Dodgers, but he did pick up the National League's Pitcher of the Month award on Monday.
The Marlins' 21-year old ace went 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA, 55 strikeouts and eight walks over his first six starts of the season. In Sunday's 5-4 win over the Dodgers he was in line to pick up his fifth win before A.J. Ramos blew the save in the ninth.
Fernandez leads all of baseball with 65 strikeouts. He had 10 in Sunday's effort, the seventh time in his career he's reached double digits in Ks.
Last year, he was named NL Rookie of the Month for July and August en route to winning the National League's Rookie of the Year award.