Stanton takes BP, may return this week

Stanton takes BP, may return this week

NEW YORK -- A welcome sight was participating in batting practice for the Marlins on Monday afternoon at Citi Field. Giancarlo Stanton took some swings on the field, his first batting practice with the team since he broke the hamate bone in his left hand on June 26.

No set date has been given as to when Stanton will be reinstated, but the fact he is on the road trip is a sign it could be a matter of days, at the earliest.

"I feel good," Stanton said. "I don't have a date [to come back]."

Stanton had surgery on the hand June 28. The only game action the All-Star right fielder has seen came Sept. 2 in a rehab assignment game at Class A Advanced Jupiter. But he experienced some discomfort and came out of the game after three plate appearances.

Stanton had been hoping to return Sept. 4 against the Mets at that point. Rather than setting a target date now, the club is playing it by ear.

"He's feeling much better," manager Dan Jennings said. "It's good to see him on this road trip. I know where his mindset is. Now, there is just a comfort level of strength. When he gets to that, he will be ready to go. When that is, we're not sure. But I think it's progressing the right way."

It appears unlikely Stanton will play in the three-game set at the Mets. Best-case scenario would be one of the four games at Washington, when Miami takes on the Nationals beginning Thursday.

Stanton is in the process of building up strength in his hand. The surgery weakened his left pinkie and ring finger, which has caused him problems gripping the bat and getting full force on his swing.

When Stanton broke his hand, he was leading the Majors in home runs (27) and RBIs (67).

"His attitude and desire to get back out there are definitely a positive," Jennings said. "I watched him the other day. He's letting it go. He's turning it loose. Now, just like any guy who has been off for two months, there's a timing issue. He's got to get that part right."

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.