Rojas opening eyes with his play at shortstop

Marlins hoping a decision on Stanton's status comes soon

Rojas opening eyes with his play at shortstop

MIAMI -- As much as the Marlins would like to have Adeiny Hechavarria back in the lineup, the organization has no sense of urgency largely because of the way Miguel Rojas has filled in at shortstop.

Rojas, who hadn't played in more than 16 games in any month, appeared in his 23rd game in September on Saturday night. With Rojas performing at a high level, the Marlins are giving Hechavarria more time to allow his left hamstring to heal.

"Hech is still a day to day right now," manager Dan Jennings said. "You guys remember Wally Pipp. Rojas has played pretty good."

Not that the organization is ready to have Rojas unseat Hechavarria on a regular basis, but the 26-year-old Venezuelan native is proving to be a quality utility replacement.

"It's great to see Miggy make the most of this opportunity and do what he's doing," Jennings said. "He's really played outstandingly in absence of Hech."

The Marlins acquired Rojas from the Dodgers last December as part of the Dee Gordon trade, which also brought Dan Haren to Miami.

Hechavarria strained his hamstring at Atlanta on Sept. 2. The Marlins remain hopeful he will return at some point on the road trip, which starts on Tuesday against the Rays.

Rojas opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans. The fact he plays a solid shortstop, along with third base and second gives him an inside edge to be Miami's primary utility infielder next year.

Hechavarria is getting closer to returning, but the status of slugger Giancarlo Stanton is more uncertain.

Stanton, who is recovering from a broken left hamate bone, is still dealing with scar tissue in his left hand. He hasn't regained full strength.

"We're down to eight games remaining and it's getting close to where he's going to have to say, 'Yeah, I want to give it a shot, or I'm just going to shut it until next year,'" Jennings said. "It's on him. Testing it, and being ready to swing. It would be nice to insert his name, but right now, no."

The fact Stanton hasn't taken batting practice in a few days makes it appear doubtful he will be back.

Jennings expects a decision on Stanton prior to the road trip.

Whether Stanton is back this year or not isn't expected to impact his status for Spring Training. The benefit of returning would be to get a few games in to see how his hand responds.

"I think it would just be his peace of mind," Jennings said. "Testing it against Major League pitchers."

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.