Stitches out, Stanton to see hand specialist

Doctor's appointment to help clarify when slugger can start swinging bat, return from surgery

Stitches out, Stanton to see hand specialist

PHILADELPHIA -- The stitches are out of Giancarlo Stanton's surgically repaired left hand, and the next step is for the Marlins slugger to see a hand specialist on Monday.

The appointment with the specialist will give a better indication of when the three-time All-Star right fielder can start swinging the bat.

"The stitches are out. Now it's just a matter of when that calluses up enough where he can grip a bat and swing the bat," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said Friday.

Stanton fractured the hamate bone in his left hand while swinging the bat on June 26, and he underwent surgery two days later. Recommended recovery time is 4-6 weeks, and indications are he will not return before Aug. 1.

Once cleared to swing the bat, Jennings said Stanton will start a progression of dry swings and work up toward hitting off the tee and then flips in the cages.

"That will be a gradual buildup," Jennings said.

Stanton, voted in as an All-Star starter by the fans, was unable to participate in the Midsummer Classic for the second time in his career. The power-hitting outfielder also missed 2012 due to right knee surgery. Stanton was leading the Majors in homers (27) and RBIs (67) when he fractured his hand.

Miami's lineup is now missing the thunder provided by Stanton and the speed of Dee Gordon, who was placed on the disabled list on Friday due to a dislocated left thumb.

"The thing about Dee Gordon and Giancarlo, those guys know their bodies so well," Jennings said. "They know where they are and when they can come back. They'll play with some discomfort."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.