MILWAUKEE -- Giancarlo Stanton will miss his fourth consecutive game because of a knee injury when the Marlins open a weekend series in St. Louis on Friday. But his status for next week’s Home Run Derby and All-Star Game remains uncertain.
Even though Ozzie Guillen said Stanton won’t play Friday, Stanton is scheduled to test his right knee by taking part in the usual pregame rituals, such as batting practice and shagging in the outfield.
“[Friday’s] the test,’’ Stanton said.
If Stanton and trainers deem the knee good to go, he’ll try playing Saturday and Sunday. But Stanton said if he doesn’t play in both of those two games for the Marlins, he doesn’t see how he could take part in All-Star festivities.
Stanton said the MRI of his knee revealed a “loose body’’ of either bone or cartilage about six millimeters in size. “The description of it is like the tip of your pinky,’’ he said.
Stanton, the Marlins’ only All-Star representative, said he wouldn’t necessarily go to Kansas City, Mo., simply to make an appearance if he is unable to take part in the derby or the All-Star Game. He said there’s a chance he could head back to South Florida to have the object removed arthroscopically during the All-Star break.
Carlos Lee blocked a trade to the Dodgers because his family balked at the idea of moving to Los Angeles. Miami was a different story. The Marlins weren’t on Lee’s list of 14 teams to which he could refuse a trade, and he welcomed the move.
By joining the Marlins, Lee can remain close to the cattle ranches he owns in Panama and Texas.
“There was a reason why I didn’t block going to Miami,” Lee said Thursday before making his first start with the Marlins. “It’s one of the teams I want to play for.’’ Thinking about himself, his family and his career, he added, “Miami was a good choice.”
Lee likely doesn’t figure into the Marlins’ long-term plans. They can move Logan Morrison to first base next season, especially if they feel it will be easier on his balky right knee. And Gaby Sanchez could remain in the system, though his demotion might have cost him salary-arbitration status due to his lack of service time.
But if Lee, 36, finds Marlins Park to his liking, it’s possible the Marlins would consider signing him to an extension. Lee, who went 3 for 15 with a double and two RBI when the Astros visited Miami in April, said Marlins Park is better suited for certain types of hitters.
“It’s a good hitting park if you’re a line-drive hitter,” he said. “If you’re a home run hitter, it’s kind of [tough].’’
Marlins general manager Michael Hill said minor-league third baseman Matt Dominguez was always part of the trade discussions with Houston. It was the other Marlin included in the deal, southpaw pitcher Rob Rasmussen, that they were more reluctant to deal.
“You never want to give up pitching, let alone left-handed pitching,” Hill said.
• Emilio Bonifacio went 0 for 2 and played center in his first rehab game for Single A Jupiter on Wednesday. He’s scheduled to come off the disabled list from a thumb injury on July 13.
Reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo, who is presently serving a 60-day league suspension, is expected to make his first rehab appearance for Jupiter on Saturday. He is eligible to rejoin Miami on July 23.
Top pitching prospect Jose Fernandez’s second start for Single A Jupiter wasn’t much better than his first. Fernandez on Wednesday gave up three runs on four hits over five innings. He walked three, hit a batter, and had a wild pitch and a balk. His ERA after two starts: 6.30.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (7-6, 4.62 ERA) at St. Louis Cardinals RHP Jake Westbrook (7-6, 3.91), 8:15 p.m., Busch Stadium.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Carlos Zambrano (4-6, 4.14) at Cardinals RHP Kyle Lohse (8-2, 2.80), 4:10 p.m., Busch Stadium.
• Scouting report: The Marlins have lost three out of four games to the Cardinals in Miami this season. Nolasco is 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA in three career starts at Busch Stadium.