Alex Rodriguez is coming home to Miami.
He’s just not joining the Marlins — or any other major league team.
The rampant speculation on whether the Marlins would sign Rodriguez came to a halt on Monday when his publicist said A-Rod would not play again this season.
“I want to put all this talk to rest about Alex playing for any team this season,” said Ron Berkowitz, Rodriguez’s spokesman. “It’s not happening. Like he said Friday night, he is happy and he is going to take some time to relax and hang with his family and friends.”
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Rodriguez was released by the New York Yankees after playing his final game for them on Friday. He said then that he intended to return home to Miami and spend time with his family.
While Rodriguez’s immediate baseball future doesn’t include the Marlins, the team is continuing to search for pitching and hitting help in the wake of a rash of injuries to a handful of their frontline players, most notably Giancarlo Stanton.
One player that has been discussed internally: Carlos Gomez, a former All-Star outfielder who was designated for assignment last week by Houston. Gomez, 30, has tailed off sharply the past two seasons. But he is only two years removed from back-to-back standout seasons with the Brewers.
In the meantime, the Marlins intend to plow forward without Stanton, who will likely miss the rest of the season with a groin injury.
“I think we can win like this,” manager Don Mattingly said optimistically of the Marlins’ chances without Stanton.
Mattingly noted that the Marlins ended the 2015 season on a high note without Stanton, going 16-10 in September.
“They figured it out, they could win without Giancarlo,” Mattingly said. “I don’t say this in a negative way about Giancarlo, because in the past, I think, when you’d read about the Marlins, it was Giancarlo and all these little guys with him. Now, we have a lot of good players here. It’s really an insult to the rest of them to think we can’t do anything without Giancarlo.”
Since the start of the ’15 season, the Marlins have gone 52-50 when Stanton hasn’t played and 80-97 when he has.
With Stanton gone, the Marlins will lean on 42-year-old Ichiro Suzuki to man right field. Suzuki has put up good numbers this season in a part-time role, bringing a .316 average (but no home runs) into Monday. But he fizzled out at the end of last season, hitting just .136 in September.
Mattingly doesn’t see that happening again since Suzuki hasn’t played nearly as much this season as he did in 2015. He should be fresher physically, in other words.
“He played 153 games last year. That’s a lot of baseball,” Mattingly said. “That’s a lot of games, for anyone. For anyone in their 40s, that’s a lot of games. We’re going to give him his days (off), and we’re going to keep him fresh. This is not last September.”
Said Suzuki: “I can’t say that I’m going to come in and replace Giancarlo to do what he did. But I can do what I can to fill that void.”
Outfielder Christian Yelich said he feels the Marlins can survive without their slugger.
“Obviously it stinks,” Yelich said. “He’s a big part of our team. We’ve played without him before, and we’re going to have to do it again. It’s kind of understood (among Marlins players) that this season doesn’t end. The season’s not over just because we lost a big part of our team.”
URENA CALLED UP
The Marlins are expected to announce that Jose Urena will be called up from Triple A New Orleans to make Tuesday’s start in Cincinnati. Urena, who is filling the rotation spot of injured pitcher Adam Conley, went 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts earlier this season for the Marlins.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (1-3, 6.69) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-1, 3.11), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Andrew Cashner (4-9, 5.08) at Cincinnati Reds RHP Homer Bailey (2-1, 4.30), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ball Park.