Barry Bonds doesn’t pretend to have all the answers.
But in his first year as hitting coach of the Marlins, Bonds has a pretty good idea of why the lineup finds itself mired in a collective slump.
Youth and inexperience are factors, Bonds said. The loss of Giancarlo Stanton to injury is another.
“We’ve been riding this roller coaster, and we’ve just hit that bump in the road at the wrong time,” Bonds said. “I just wish it [happened] earlier. I just wish we had it in May.”
The Marlins had scored the fewest runs in the majors in August entering the final night of the month, which is perhaps the biggest reason — along with a rash of injuries to key players — for the team’s recent struggles.
“[Marcell] Ozuna’s having his best year,” Bonds said. “[Christian] Yelich is having a career year. [Martin] Prado’s having a career year. Individually, a lot of guys are doing very well overall.”
At the moment, though, pretty much everyone — other than Prado — are struggling at the plate. Bonds said part of that could be certain hitters trying to do too much to make up for the loss of Stanton, who has been out since mid-August.
Bonds remains optimistic, though.
“Put our whole team together without injuries, I think you’d see a difference,” Bonds said. “We’re 2 1/2 games out of the wild card, and I don’t know when we played with a full deck this year.”
PHELPS GOES ON DL
David Phelps was scheduled to take the mound for the Marlins at Citi Field on Wednesday night. Instead, he became the latest player to go on the disabled list.
Phelps was placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain, an injury he sustained while taking batting practice on Tuesday. The Marlins put in a quick call to Triple A New Orleans and promoted right-hander Jake Esch to make the fill-in start. Esch was making his major-league debut.
Phelps said he the injury occurred Tuesday with his first swing in the batting cage.
“I just felt something, shut it down,” Phelps said. “My initial reaction was I would maybe miss one start.”
But when Phelps still felt soreness after waking up Wednesday, the Marlins decided to place him on the DL and call up Esch. Phelps became the third member of the rotation to land on the DL, joining Wei-Yin Chen and Adam Conley.
Phelps is hopeful the injury is not serious and that he can resume throwing in about four days.
▪ Andrew Cashner expects to make his scheduled start on Friday in Cleveland. The Marlins skipped Cashner’s last start because of an infection caused by a blister near the nail on his right middle finger.
▪ Thursday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (2-5, 5.83 ERA) at New York Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (7-7, 2.96), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.
▪ Friday: Marlins RHP Cashner (4-10, 4.73) at Cleveland Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco (9-7, 3.23), 7:10 p.m., Progressive Field.