From the moment he saw it, Don Mattingly didn’t like the look of Giancarlo Stanton’s collapse near second base at the end of Saturday night’s game.
“When I saw it looked like he got shot,” Mattingly said. “It looked like what you see when guys have hamstring [injuries], they just pull up. I walked out with him last night and he was limping so that’s obviously not a good sign.”
Stanton landed on the disabled list Sunday, as did starting pitcher Adam Conley, as the Marlins suffered serious blows to their lineup and pitching rotation.
Stanton’s injury was listed as a left groin strain, and Mattingly said he would undergo an MRI Sunday to determine the extent of the injury.
Conley was placed on the DL with tendinitis of his left middle finger, an injury he said he suffered on August 3 when he hit his hand on the top of the dugout at Wrigley Field while celebrating a home run by catcher Jeff Mathis.
“I’ve actually done that [hurt my hand] before, but not in the dugout,” Mattingly said. “It’s like when you hit the corner of a table and that pain and soreness ends up getting on to the palm side of your hand.”
With Stanton and Conley on the DL, the Marlins recalled infielder Robert Andino and lefty reliever Hunter Cervenka from Triple-A New Orleans. They also released right-handed pitcher Cody Hall.
Stanton hurt himself on the final out of Saturday’s 8-7 loss to the White Sox when he attempted to extend a bloop single to a double. Stanton got a late start out of the box and then raced around first as the ball bounced away from Adam Eaton in right field. But as Stanton made it halfway to second, he pulled up abruptly and was easily tagged out by shortstop Tim Anderson.
Stanton, who went 3 for 5 on Saturday night, leads the Marlins in home runs (25) and RBI (70). Stanton, who has suffered several injuries during his career, also missed seven games earlier this season with side soreness.
After an early-season slump during which his batting average sunk as low as .192, Stanton rebounded just before the All-Star break and has since raised his average to .244.
Stanton carried plenty of momentum in to the second half following a historic victory at the All-Star Home Run Derby, where he set records for most home runs (61) and home run distance (497 feet).
His absence creates a major hole in the Marlins’ lineup that’s been without first baseman Justin Bour, who has been out with a high ankle sprain since July 2.
The Marlins entered Sunday’s game having lost eight of their past 11 games and trailing the Cardinals by a half-game for the National League’s second Wild Card playoff berth.
“[Losing Stanton] means we have to find another way to win, simple as that,” Mattingly said. “We did that early in the year when Giancarlo wasn’t contributing and wasn’t swinging well. Every team I’ve ever been involved in has things they have to overcome. Hopefully it’s a couple of weeks and we get back at it, but if not, we have to do what we have to do.”
Conley said he had been feeling soreness since the incident in Chicago.
On Saturday night, Conley gave up five runs on five hits, walked four and struck out four and lasted only four innings. He was removed after throwing 83 pitches.
That followed a poor outing August 7 in Colorado when Conley lasted only five innings and gave up six runs on seven hits and also walked four and struck out two.
Conley is 8-6 in his second season in the majors with a 3.94 ERA, 122 strikeouts and 61 walks in 24 starts (130 1/3 innings).
Conley’s injury leaves the rotation without a left-handed starter with Wei-Yin Chen also on the DL with a left elbow sprain. Chen is not expected to return until mid-September at the earliest.
Mattingly said he was hopeful Conley would be ready to return immediately after the 15-day period of his DL stint.
“We felt like it was a good time to put him on the DL and give him a few extra days,” Mattingly said. “It just seemed like he was dragging a little bit and his velocity was down.”
Conley’s injury left the Marlins mixing and matching their starting rotation once again.
Mattingly said Jose Fernandez would be moved up to pitch Thursday in Cincinnati to fill in Conley’s scheduled next turn in the rotation.
The Marlins will use a spot starter to fill in the scheduled start Tuesday after David Phelps starts Monday, but did not say who that would be. Andrew Cashner is scheduled to pitch Wednesday.