Giancarlo Stanton hasn't had a chance yet to reunite with his teammates since they returned home from their 10-game road trip early Thursday morning, but he should get a chance to see them real soon.
The Marlins, who have not seen Stanton since he was decked by a pitch and hospitalized with facial lacerations, fractures and chipped teeth in Milwaukee a week ago, said they are expecting the National League MVP candidate to stop by the clubhouse at some point over the next couple days.
One teammate, though, has seen him: Stanton's roommate and relief pitcher A.J. Ramos.
"This morning he knocked on my door, woke me up," Ramos said before using a deep voice to impersonate Stanton. "He was just like, ‘Hey, man, wake up.’ We just had a little conversation before he had to leave [for a doctor's appointment].
"[His left cheek] was still a little swollen, but it wasn’t as bad as the picture. You can tell a lot of the swelling went down. So it’s progressing."
Ramos and a few teammates said Stanton, who will miss the rest of the season, has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he's received not only from his teammates, but fans and others from the outside.
"That was something we talked about through text," Ramos said. "He was talking about how many people were texting him and sending him gifts. It just helped with the process, helped it go a little easier... It kind of tells you that he is a superstar, but he’s also a really humble guy that people like."
Ramos said Stanton's father has been staying at their apartment and caring for his son since Stanton returned home from Milwaukee. Asked if he would lend a hand too, Ramos joked: "I actually got a nursing outfit."
Ramos was of course referring to the naughty nurse's outfit left fielder Christian Yelich wore over the weekend in New York when he and a few rookies were being hazed by veterans and had to wear them out on the streets.
"My booty was a little too big for it," Ramos joked of the outfit. "I got a little bit more curves than Yelich. But [Stanton is] into it... whatever he needs help with all of us are going to accommodate him the best way we can."
Asked how Stanton's teeth looked Ramos responded: "Tell all the girls out there his smile will be alright."
KOEHLER SEARCHING FOR WIN NO. 10
Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler, tied for 19th in Wins Above Replacement rankings (2.7) in the National League, is hoping to notch his 10th victory of the season Friday night against the Nationals.
He's been stuck on nine wins since Aug. 17 despite posting a 3.19 ERA and failing to give up more than three runs in any of his last five starts.
"It would be nice," said Koehler, who has far exceeded the expectations set for him when the season began and he was tabbed the team's No. 5 starter. "Winning a big league game isn't an easy thing to do. You saw last year it took me nine starts to get my first win. But at the same time, that's not main my focus when I go out there. I'm just trying to go out there and pitch as much as [Mike Redmond] and [Chuck Hernandez] allow me to. And if I'm in the position to win the ballgame that means I did a good enough job."
Even though he's hit a new career high for innings pitched this season (179 1/3), Koehler (9-9, 3.71 ERA) said he feels great.
"My body, I actually feel really good," he said. "I was telling somebody the other day that I can't believe it's ending because of how I feel right now, which I guess is a good thing going forward."
> Manager Mike Redmond said staff ace Jose Fernandez was visiting with doctors Thursday to receive final clearance before starting a throwing program on Oct. 1.
"Time wise he's right on schedule," Redmond said. "This is really a step, another step in him getting back on the field. I haven't talked to him, but I'm sure he's anxiously awaiting this clearance so he can start playing catch and this is really the first step in getting him back on the field."
> With 11 games left and the Marlins seven games back in the wildcard race odds are this season won't end with a trip to October. So what are the Marlins' team goals from here on out?
"The ultimate goal is to make the playoffs. The ultimate goal is to win the World Series obviously, but until we're mathematically eliminated we're not going to completely just can that goal," third baseman Casey McGehee said. "But if that time does come there's still a lot to play for. We've got a chance to jump another team [Atlanta] in the standings. We got a chance to finish above .500. All those things would be nice feathers in our cap. Obviously not the ones we wanted, but with some of the things we've had go on with Jose going down for most of the year, I think there would be a lot more positive than negative to come out of that especially if we're able to do those things. Even if the season were to end today I think there's a lot of signs pointing in the right direction -- things people weren't sure about or even necessarily expecting when Opening Day was rolling around."