Stanton to stay in the five-hole for time being

Stanton to stay in the five-hole for time being

Stanton to stay in the five-hole for time being
PHOENIX -- At some point, Giancarlo Stanton could be moving up in the order. For now, manager Ozzie Guillen is fine with the 22-year-old slugger hitting fifth.

The rationale is connected to Carlos Lee being an established run producer at the cleanup spot. And Jose Reyes has been hot since batting third.

Stanton was batting cleanup prior to the Marlins acquiring Lee from the Astros on July 4. But four days after Lee arrived, Stanton underwent surgery to remove two cartilage chips from his right knee.

Stanton was reinstated from the disabled list on Aug. 7, and he's made eight straight starts.

Guillen is monitoring when to give the slugger some rest. That was an initial reason not to immediately move Stanton back into the four spot.

"Carlos, he knows how to hit with people on base," Guillen said. "I'm not saying Giancarlo does not. But Carlos has the experience. I think right now the lineup functions better with Carlos batting fourth.

"The ideal is Giancarlo hitting third. But I don't want to move Reyes any place else. I want to leave Reyes third."

Reyes could find himself batting either second or third the rest of this season, and perhaps next year, too. Guillen feels Emilio Bonifacio is best suited to lead off.

"I think Boni should be leading off," Guillen said. "I think Reyes has more pop. Reyes can make more things happen hitting second or third."