ST. LOUIS -- Before reinstating Justin Bour from the disabled list, the Marlins are leaning toward sending him out on a rehab assignment. The left-handed-hitting first baseman, shelved with a right ankle sprain, has been in South Florida participating in mild baseball activities.
Bour is eligible to join the club on Monday in Philadelphia, but since he is still dealing with some soreness, the earliest he is expected back would be Friday against the Mets at Marlins Park.
"We're just not getting to the point where we're ready to send him out on rehab, and go get his timing," manager Don Mattingly said Saturday. "It's going to heal. It's just a matter of time."
Bour last played at Atlanta on July 2, and he is on the DL retroactive to July 3.
"We're going to be on the other side of two weeks," Mattingly said. "It will be nice to be able to put some at-bats together and not just step in and try to start going again. So we'll try to start getting him some ABs, somehow and some way."
A power threat, Bour is batting .268/.347/.526 with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs.
"He threw up to like 120 [feet] today," Mattingly said. "There are just still certain movements that he's feeling. That's where we've got to be careful, so we're not at running or agility stuff at this point. He's been able to throw, and hitting balls off the tee, things like that, at a certain speed."
With Bour out, Chris Johnson has received the most time at first base. Don Kelly is another option. For now, the club is shying away from using second baseman Derek Dietrich at first.
Mattingly said he wants to maintain some continuity, so Dietrich will stay mostly at second base. Also, Dietrich would be a first-base candidate if Miguel Rojas started at second base.
"Whoever we put out there, if it's C.J., or Don Kelly at this point, whoever we put out there, at this point, we expect them to give us a good effort and give us a chance to win," Mattingly said. "I don't care what lineup we put out there, we expect to win."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. 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.