Giancarlo Stanton looks like Superman, but injuries have been his kryptonite. On a hustle play in extra innings Monday night, Stanton racked up another injury. This time it is a hamstring strain that could cost Stanton a month or more, depending on the severity.
The Marlins pushed Stanton to the disabled list on Tuesday morning, even before an MRI could be taken. The Marlins medical staff needs to have clear indication that this is a significant strain.
Manual testing, as well as Stanton's assertion that he heard a pop, indicate at least a Grade II strain. That type of injury will leave what doctors call a "palpable defect," which means that someone with their hand on Stanton's leg would be able to feel the hole that the tearing has left in the muscle.
The injury is to his right leg, which is his "power leg" when hitting and the same one he had knee surgery on last season. Stanton was able to come back from that minor knee surgery and showed no issues with his power, so there's a positive in his ability to return to production.
If this is a normal Grade II strain, the time frame is usually four to six weeks for a return. Stanton isn't a speed player and has enough power to deal with a minor deficit in push when he returns.
However, if this turns out to be a more serious injury, such as a Grade III strain or even just one in a bad location, it could end up effectively ending Stanton's season. An MRI is scheduled for later on Tuesday to determine just how bad this is, giving us a more distinct timeline soon.
Stanton is joined on the DL by Joe Mahoney, also with a hamstring issue. While Stanton's injury is the clear, traumatic result of a hustle play, any cluster of injuries has to be noted. The Marlins have often been among the bottom 10 in injury statistics, largely because they use a lot of replaceable players who cycle through. They have also had substantial injuries to major stars, including Stanton, which have hurt them in terms of days, if not dollars. (Stanton makes just over the major league minimum for a player with his service time.)
The state of the Marlins does have to be taken into account. The team is out of the playoff race already, but it has Stanton as about its only gate attraction. Moreover, many around baseball expect Stanton to be traded before he hits arbitration after this season. The haul of prospects he could bring back would kick-start the latest rebuilding effort by Larry Beinfest.
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