Despite its reputation as a home-run haven, Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t found Great American Ball Park to be any more generous than any other ballparks.
Stanton had hit just five homers in 65 at-bats there going into Friday’s game.
His success rate should improve greatly in the Home Run Derby, which will be held at Great American the day before the All-Star Game.
Stanton, who leads the majors in homers with 25, will almost certainly be invited to participate.
“There will be a lot of home runs, I know that,” Stanton said of a Derby in Cincinnati. “It’ll definitely be an exciting one.”
Stanton — like so many visiting players — allowed the ballpark to affect his hitting approach the first few years of his career when the Marlins would play here.
“I found myself trying to make too much of the little park in previous years,” Stanton said. “Last year, I finally calmed down a little bit when we were here.”
Stanton hit two home runs in the three games the Marlins played here last season.
After missing both games at Yankee Stadium with back spasms, catcher J.T. Realmuto returned to the lineup on Friday.
“[On Thursday] it was still pretty tight,” Realmuto said. “I kind of just went through some more treatment and then, [Friday] morning, woke up and felt a lot better.”
Jeff Mathis was in the original lineup posted Friday. But after Realmuto took batting practice without experiencing any back issues, he was inserted into the lineup.
With Realmuto apparently healthy, the Marlins went into Friday’s game carrying three catchers on the roster. But there’s a good chance that won’t last, as the Marlins will likely option Jhonatan Solano back to Triple A New Orleans and call up a position player.
Jordany Valdespin was all set to be added to the roster when Martin Prado was placed on the disabled list. But the Marlins used that open spot on Solano when Realmuto was unable to play.
ICHIRO ON THE GO
Great American Ball Park is the only current ballpark in which Ichiro Suzuki has never played. If he makes an appearance in the series, it would be the 40th ballpark in which he has played during his career.
▪ Saturday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (5-4, 3.76) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 3.36), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP David Phelps (4-3, 3.96) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Michael Lorenzen (2-2, 3.70), 1:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.