Giancarlo Stanton May Move to Leadoff in Final 2 Games, Says Don Mattingly

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 30, 2017

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 29: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the Miami Marlins drinks from a Gatorade cup during the game against the Atlanta Braves at Marlins Park on September 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins via Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins/Getty Images

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Friday he may move MLB home run leader Giancarlo Stanton to the leadoff spot for the team's final two games of the 2017 regular season against the Atlanta Braves this weekend at Marlins Park.                          

Mattingly said Stanton's attempt to hit 60 or more homers—he has 59—is a key storyline, and he's more willing to focus on individual accomplishments with the Marlins out of the playoff picture.

"I'd really like it myself, to see him get to the round number at least," he told reporters. "You know, the number was 61 for a long time, and I'd love to see him put a couple up to see what it looks like. It's a big number; it's kind of fun. It's kind of incredible to watch that many homers in one season from one guy. It's just different."

Stanton is tied with Babe Ruth for the ninth-most home runs in a single season. Only Barry Bonds (73), Mark McGwire (70 and 65), Sammy Sosa (66, 64 and 63), Roger Maris (61) and Ruth (60) finished with higher totals.

Greg Cote of the Miami Herald passed along comments the 27-year-old outfielder made Thursday night about being part of such a select group of sluggers.

"It's crazy to be in that company," Stanton said. "It doesn't sink in yet. It doesn't make sense yet, really. But it's really cool. It's everything I've worked for, and it's something really cool."

Stanton usually hits second in the Miami order behind speedster Dee Gordon. He's accumulated three plate appearances in the leadoff spot during his eight-year career, racking up two strikeouts and a walk, according to Baseball Reference.