NEW YORK -- There’s an outside chance Carlos Lee could turn out to be more than just a second-half “rental” for the Marlins.
Lee is not only happy with the Marlins, but a source said his agent has spoken to the team about a possible return.
“I like this team,” Lee said. “I don’t know what their plans are, but I like it here.”
The 36-year-old first baseman is set to become a free agent after the season, and the Marlins are giving strong consideration to moving Logan Morrison to first base.
But Lee has produced exactly as the Marlins envisioned when they acquired him in a July 4 trade with Houston.
Since joining the Marlins, Lee has hit .469 (15 for 32) with runners in scoring position.
His 22 RBI since the All-Star break is the fourth-highest total in the National League.
Given that the Marlins rank 29th in the majors with a .232 team average with runners in scoring position, Lee fills a desperate need.
“It’s a lot more fun when you’ve got opportunities like you’ve got here,” Lee said.
“It’s exciting to have guys in front of you, getting on base, stealing bases and creating opportunities.”
After receiving a second opinion from a specialist in Denver, Morrison (right knee inflammation) was told to rest the knee for three weeks before further evaluation, making it doubtful he’ll return this season.
Low, but climbing
Don’t look now, but John Buck is showing some life at the plate. By hitting safely in six of his past seven games, Buck has his average up to .179. Six of his past seven hits have been doubles.
“It’s not easy hitting one-whatever in the show, that’s for sure,” Buck said.
Buck is hoping to avoid finishing with the worst average by an everyday catcher (minimum 300 plate appearances) since Tony Pena hit .181 with Boston in 1993. But Buck said even if he is able to get his average over the .200 hump, it won’t make him feel any better about the season.
“If it gets there, great,” Buck said. “If it doesn’t, I don’t know if my view of the season will change much. “I don’t know if I’ll ever feel good about this year.”
• Friday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (9-10, 3.70 ERA) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (9-6, 2.88), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-11, 4.95) vs. Dodgers RHP Joe Blanton (8-9, 4.52), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: Kershaw is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins. ... The Marlins have held their own against the Dodgers. During the past four seasons, they have gone 13-12 against Los Angeles.