Stanton likely to be sidelined until Friday

Stanton likely to be sidelined until Friday
ATLANTA -- As a precaution, the Marlins aren't rushing Giancarlo Stanton back just yet. The 22-year-old had hoped to be in the lineup on Wednesday night, or at least Thursday, in Atlanta.

However, manager Ozzie Guillen said on Friday at home against the Phillies is more realistic.

"We hope he plays the first game back in Miami," Guillen said. "I don't think he should be ready [Thursday]."

Stanton hasn't played since Sept. 16 due to a strained left intercostal muscle. On Wednesday, he took batting practice at Turner Field.

Still holding back a little bit on his swing, Stanton displayed some serious power. He drove several balls over the wall. The big blast was a second-deck drive down the left-field line.

The Marlins are also trying to avoid using Stanton as a pinch-hitter in Atlanta.

"Maybe, but we don't want to risk his progress, and go backwards again," Guillen said. "He said today he said it was a lot better."

The hope is Stanton can play in the final six games of the season, all at Marlins Park.

"This is taking a little while," Guillen said. "I'd rather have him back for six games in Miami than one game in Atlanta."