NEW YORK -- It pained Giancarlo Stanton to watch the Marlins during the past four weeks. They were losing during his time recuperating from knee surgery, and there was nothing he could do to change the outcomes.
Now he can.
Stanton was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and returned to the lineup for the first time since July 7.
“It was not fun to sit and watch these past few weeks,” Stanton said. “You don’t want to watch the team lose the whole time and there were things you maybe could have helped, or changed the game.”
The Marlins not only went 8-17 during his time on the DL, but traded off many key players once the front office recognized the team wasn’t going anywhere this season.
Even though he missed more than four weeks, Stanton remains the team’s leading home run hitter with 19 blasts. But manager Ozzie Guillen installed him in the fifth spot in the lineup while he acclimates.
“He makes the lineup a little better,” Guillen said in obvious understatement.
Guillen said that, eventually, he would prefer Stanton hitting in the third spot, with Jose Reyes returning to the leadoff position. Guillen said that, initially, Stanton might need a day off here and there until he reaches full strength.
• To make room for Stanton the roster, the Marlins placed infielder Donnie Murphy on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury.
Boni’s good news
The Marlins received more encouraging news on Emilio Bonifacio, who reinjured his surgically repaired left thumb Friday. Bonifacio was examined Tuesday by his surgeon and was told the injury was not as serious as it was in May when he injured it the first time.
As a result, Guillen said, it looks as though Bonifacio could come off the DL on schedule on Aug. 19.
“Boni is good, thank God,” said Guillen, who feared initially that Bonifacio would be lost for the season. “They don’t have to go in [surgically] to fix it.”
• It is possible the Marlins could have their full complement of outfielders from opening night before the end of the season. Logan Morrison was scheduled to receive a second opinion on Tuesday from a Denver specialist on his injured right knee.
Marlins president David Samson said he believes Morrison could play again before the end of the season.
Wednesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-7, 4.66 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Chris Young (3-5, 4.22), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Josh Johnson (7-7, 3.85) at Mets RHP R.A. Dickey (14-3, 2.82), 12:10 p.m., Citi Field.
• Scouting report: Eovaldi will be making his third start for the Marlins since being acquired from the Dodgers in the Hanley Ramirez trade. After winning his debut with the Marlins, Eovaldi went just two innings and gave up six runs in a loss to the Braves.