ATLANTA -- It has been a rough go for the Marlins since Giancarlo Stanton went to the operating table right before the All-Star break.
But the big guy — out since undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery July 8 — could be back in the lineup as early as next week in New York, manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday.
“That’s what he’s shooting for,” Guillen said.
Stanton, who hit .284 with 19 homers and 50 RBI in 80 games in the first half, is expected to participate in his first rehab assignment with the Single A Jupiter Hammerheads Thursday night in Brevard County.
Hill likely starter
It’s still not official yet, but it looks like the Marlins will call on 22-year-old left-hander Brad Hand — and not newly acquired Jacob Turner — from Triple A New Orleans to start the second of two games Friday at Nationals Park.
Josh Johnson New MLB rules allow teams to make a one-day call-up for doubleheaders, and teams can carry 26 players on those days.
Hand, who went 1-8 with a 4.20 ERA in 11 starts for the Marlins last season, is 8-5 with 3.66 ERA this season in New Orleans with 116 strikeouts and 54 walks.
Newly acquired outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, known for his speed (he said he has been clocked at 3.9, 4.0 on his way to first base) and above-average defense, was given a familiar number (2) upon arriving in the Marlins clubhouse Wednesday.
That’s the number Hanley Ramirez used to wear. Hernandez didn’t know it was Ramirez’s number until some of his new teammates told him.
“The guys said, ‘Hey, that’s Hanley Ramirez’s number,’ ” Hernandez said. “I said, ‘I’ll try to do the same thing as Hanley Ramirez.’ ”
For now, the Marlins want to see if Hernandez, who turns 25 on Sept. 7, can help fill a hole in the outfield. Playing at spacious Marlins Park is a challenge Hernandez said he’s looking forward to.
“I see on the TV the stadium has a lot of room for the outfield. That’s what I like,” Hernandez said. “That’s good for me. I like running to the ball.”
Guillen said Hernandez likely will be in the Marlins’ starting lineup Thursday when the Marlins face left-hander Mike Minor.
• Newly acquired third baseman Zack Cox is being kept on the seven-day disabled list at Double A Jacksonville with a mild hamstring strain. He was injured and first placed on the disabled list July 22.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-6, 3.94 ERA) at Atlanta Braves LHP Mike Minor (6-7, 5.18), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.
• Friday: Game 1 — Marlins RHP Josh Johnson (6-7, 4.04) at Washington Nationals LHP John Lannan (1-0, 2.57), 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park. Game 2 — Marlins TBA at Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (13-5, 3.27).
• Scouting report: After starting 0-5 with a 4.61 ERA over his first seven starts, Eovaldi has gone 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA this season. Minor is 1-2 with a 4.86 ERA against the Marlins this season.