Miami Marlins' Jarrod Saltalamacchia had May to forget

Miami Marlins' Jarrod Saltalamacchia follows through with a single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, May 2, 2014, in Miami.
Miami Marlins' Jarrod Saltalamacchia follows through with a single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, May 2, 2014, in Miami.
Lynne Sladky / AP

Jarrod Saltalamacchia usually has one bad month each season.

Saltalamacchia is hoping that May was that month, and the arrival of June will bring better days for him at the plate. The catcher had another tough day at the plate Saturday, going 0 for 3 with two strikeouts, and was also charged with a throwing error.

He finished the month Saturday with May numbers that spelled out his lengthy hitting slump: a .177 average, zero home runs and an on-base plus slugging percentage of .509.

“I’ve had months like this and second halves like this,” Saltalamacchia said. “As long as we’re winning, I’m not too worried about it.”

It looked briefly as though Saltalamacchia had ended his slump at the midway point when he snapped out of an 0-for-26 hitless drought May 16 in San Francisco with a four-hit game.

But it failed to last.

Since that game, Saltalamacchia has gone 4 for 31. And if you remove that four-hit game from the equation, his average for the month becomes .135.

“Even when I had the four-hit game, I didn’t feel comfortable,” he said. “I just haven’t felt great at the plate.”

healthy stanton

Never mind the 16 home runs. Or the 51 RBI. Or even the .317 batting average. If you ask Giancarlo Stanton which number he is proudest of, he’ll tell you it’s 54. That’s the number of games that Stanton has appeared in this season, and it exactly matches the number of games the Marlins have played so far. In other words, a healthy Stanton has resulted in a highly productive one.

“I’ll take the games [played],” Stanton answered when given a choice to pick out the one number on his 2014 résumé that matters most to him.

With his two-run homer on Friday off Braves ace Julio Teheran, Stanton became the fastest player in Marlins history to reach 50 RBI, breaking Mike Lowell’s 2001 mark. It took Lowell 57 games to get to 50.

“Whatever,” Stanton said, shrugging off his impressive personal statistics. “It’s two months. Have a milestone at the end of the year, not a [third] into it.”

•  Henderson Alvarez is all systems go for Tuesday’s start after throwing a bullpen session Saturday with no arm issues. Alvarez left his most recent start with a stiff right elbow but has maintained all along that it was a precautionary move and nothing more serious than that.

• Reliever Carter Capps will see Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to receive a second opinion on his sprained right elbow. While the Marlins are keeping their fingers crossed that he’ll require only rest, perhaps as little as a month, the fact that Capps is seeing Andrews is an indication that Tommy John surgery could be a possibility.

• Just because top draft prospect Carlos Rodon is Cuban-American doesn’t mean the Marlins are any higher on the North Carolina State southpaw than they would be otherwise. Nor has Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria given the order to draft Rodon (if the Houston Astros don’t draft him first) just for that reason, according to a source in squashing a published report to the contrary.

The Marlins have the second overall pick in Thursday’s draft, and they have narrowed their focus to a handful of players, including Rodon, California high school pitcher Brady Aiken and California high school catcher/outfielder Alex Jackson. Texas high school pitching phenom Tyler Kolek could also be on their radar.

The Marlins have four of the top 43 picks in the draft.

coming up

•  Sunday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.36 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves RHP Aaron Harang (4-4, 3.29), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

•  Monday: Marlins LHP Randy Wolf (0-1, 4.50) vs. Tampa Bay Rays RHP Alex Cobb (1-2, 2.93), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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