Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is Major League Baseball's top slugger, but he is already struggling to stay healthy in 2016 due to a knee issue.
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Mattingly Comments on Stanton's Injury
Monday, March 7
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald noted, "[Marlins manager Don] Mattingly said he just wants to be cautious for now with Stanton," adding, "Stanton didn't make [the] trip to Viera due to soreness in [his] right knee."
Stanton Unable to Shake Injury Bug
After an injury-plagued 2015 campaign, it is fair to wonder if durability will be a reoccurring problem throughout Stanton's career.
The 2014 National League MVP runner-up played in just 74 games last season after suffering a broken hand, which essentially destroyed any hope the Marlins had of being a competitive team.
Prior to going down with the broken hand in 2015, Stanton was demolishing opposing hurlers to the tune of 27 home runs and 67 RBI in just 74 games. In fact, he was on pace for the best power season in Major League Baseball in nearly a decade, per ESPN Stats & Info:
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
Giancarlo Stanton has a broken bone in his hand per @Ken_Rosenthal. He was on pace to be the 1st to hit 58 HR since Ryan Howard in '06.6/27/2015, 2:14:31 PM
Not only was Stanton putting up big numbers, but he was doing it in a way that nobody else in baseball was in terms of pure power, according to MLB.com's Daren Willman:
Daren Willman @darenw
Giancarlo Stanton had 9 batted balls of 117 MPH+ last year. The rest of #MLB combined had 3 balls hit 117 MPH+. Stanton only played 74 games2/4/2016, 4:07:01 AM
There may be no more dominant force in baseball at the plate than Stanton when healthy, but he has never played in more than 150 games in a single season, and entering 2016, he had appeared in 123 or fewer in three of four campaigns.
The Marlins haven't posted a winning season since 2009, and the last time they made the playoffs was in 2003, when they beat the New York Yankees to win their second World Series championship in franchise history.
Stanton and starting pitcher Jose Fernandez are the players who have been tabbed to end those droughts, but the progress has been slow.
Miami has a young roster with a lot of budding talent in terms of both hitting and pitching, but the team tends to go as Stanton goes. Without him in the fold, it becomes much easier for pitchers to handle the Marlins lineup.
Regardless of how much time Stanton misses, the Marlins will likely be in a bad way without him since nobody else on the team, or in Major League Baseball, can do what he does on a consistent basis.
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