Gordon nears return; Stanton progressing

Marlins All-Star second baseman will take batting practice this weekend

Gordon nears return; Stanton progressing

SAN DIEGO -- Best-case scenario is All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon will be reinstated from the disabled list Tuesday when the Marlins open their home series against the Nationals.

But Gordon's status is far from a given, because first he must start taking batting practice, which could come this weekend at the team's Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, Fla.

Gordon dislocated his left thumb on July 11, and he was placed on the disabled list on July 17, retroactive to July 12.

"He's going to go into Jupiter this weekend and take batting practice," manager Dan Jennings said. "He's going to swing the bat and see. It's going to be a continual progression. Truly, it will be like a test."

Gordon has already hit the ball off the tee without any discomfort and could possibly be ready for game activity on Sunday.

While Gordon is getting close, All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (fractured left hand) is taking "dry swings," or warmup swings.

Stanton, who fractured the hamate bone in his wrist, underwent surgery on June 28. Recommended recovery is four to six weeks.

Of the two, Gordon appears the closest to coming back.

"I just hate putting timetables [on players]," Jennings said. "I don't want any player who is coming back from an injury to feel like, 'Wow, if I'm not back that day, I've let the team down.'

"In Dee's case, the guy loves to play so much. He will not come out of the lineup."

Gordon, batting .338 with 33 stolen bases, has the benefit of 361 at-bats, which still paces the Marlins. He may not need as much time in rehab assignment games, if he has any, to return.

Stanton has 279 at-bats, with 27 homers and 67 RBIs.

"I think from a standpoint, from what [Gordon] needs, at-bat wise, he just needs to get the comfort of the timing," Jennings said. "Once he gets that. His game is that contact and the speed. Unlike a guy who is a power hitter, who may need a little more from a timing standpoint, it is probably reasonable to think he will be a little quicker.

"I know this. When those two guys are ready to go, because of the great All-Star-caliber years they're having, they will jump back in here. They will be ready to help."

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.