Marlins manager Mike Redmond tuned into a sports show Tuesday morning and heard a couple of analysts discussing if Giancarlo Stanton should be mentioned in the National League MVP race
“I was like, ‘What? Just mention him?’ ” Redmond said. “I think what he’s done is made a statement. For sure, he should be right up there.”
Thanks to a power surge since July 30 (.286, eight homers, 11 RBI), Stanton has retaken the league lead in home runs (31) and RBI (82) and entered Tuesday with an NL-best 5.8 wins above replacement rating. Stanton’s OPS of .961 ranks second only to the Rockies’ Troy Tulowitzki (1.035) in the NL.
Stanton said his recent 12-game run is the best he has felt at the plate since the third or fourth week of the season.
“You understand what’s ahead of you and what the possibilities are, but I’m not typing MVP on Google every night,” Stanton said. “I’ve got other things to worry about.”
According to BaseballProjection.com, which measures defensive metrics, Stanton ranks second only to the Braves’ Jason Heyward among all right fielders in total zone, total fielding runs above average with a plus-16 rating. Last season, Stanton finished 14th among right fielders with a plus-5 rating.
“That’s a big key,” Stanton said of his improvement on defense. “That’s what will set me away from the rest as a complete player. You don’t want to be thought of as a one-sided player.’’
ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE
The Marlins on Tuesday joined the viral phenomenon known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, the social media craze aimed at raising money and awareness for Lou Gehrig’s Disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
Closer Steve Cishek took the first ice water bath Tuesday afternoon inside Marlins Park wearing an inflatable duck around his waist. Team president David Samson and president of baseball operations Mike Hill then took the challenge a couple of hours later right before batting practice.
The Marlins announced later they are offering fans a chance to bid on being the person to douse Stanton with ice water when he completes the challenge at a later date. Bidding began at 5 p.m. Tuesday and ends at 3 p.m. Friday.
The winner of the auction will get the opportunity to visit the Marlins Clubhouse, four batting practice passes, four Diamond Club seats, a photo opportunity with Stanton and, of course, the bucket of ice water.
The Ice Bucket Challenge was started by friends and family members of Pete Frates on July 29 and has raised $2.3 million in donations for the ALS Association, according to USA Today. Frates, 29, played baseball at Boston College and was diagnosed with ALS, a neurodegenerative condition, in 2012.
COMING UP• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (6-6, 3.99 ERA) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Justin Masterson (1-1, 11.25), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Thursday: Marlins RHP Brad Penny (1-0, 1.80) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks TBA, 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.