The moment his groin popped, Giancarlo Stanton knew he was badly injured.
He knew “that something came off the bone. I could kind of slow motion feel every little bit of that come off.”
What Stanton doesn’t know is whether he will play again this season.
“Obviously that’s the goal,” Stanton said in his first comments to the media since Aug. 13 when he limped off the field at Marlins Park. “I’m going day by day.”
For now, Stanton is on a treatment program of rest and light exercise. Eventually, he’ll step it up a notch, trying to strengthen the area so that he can jog and run.
“My body will tell me when it’s ready,” he said.
Should the Marlins reach the postseason, it’s possible Stanton could play the final few regular-season games and playoffs.
But he said even if the Marlins are eliminated early, he’ll still try to get back on the field for them. He missed the final few months of last season with a broken bone in his hand and said it “really messed up my overall clock.”
“So I don’t want that this year,” Stanton said. “Whether I play or not, I’m going to run my body as if I’m still in season — until the season is over. Everything is going to be done to [return this season]. If not, I’m still going to have my body prepared, either way.”
With Stanton out indefinitely, the Marlins swung a trade with the Braves on Wednesday for veteran outfielder Jeff Francoeur.
“It’s been a tough year in Atlanta, obviously, with rebuilding,” Francoeur said of the last-place Braves. “I’m excited to just come over here and have some at bats that mean something, competitive, get the juices flowing.”
Francoeur said just the thought of joining the Marlins made a difficult travel day easier to swallow. The Braves were in Phoenix when the trade went down.
“It was a long day [Thursday],” Francoeur said. “I had to fly from Phoenix to Houston, and Houston to here, and we had delays. But it’s like you get off [the plane] and you’re excited. You don’t really care. You’re excited you’re coming to a park, a game and a half out of the wild card, with a chance to do something.”
Manager Don Mattingly said he intends to platoon Francoeur in right field with Ichiro Suzuki, starting Francoeur against left-handers.
“I feel like he’s a good fit for us with Giancarlo going down,” Mattingly said. “We know we don’t want to throw [Ichiro] out there on an everyday, everyday, everyday basis.”
The Marlins are Francoeur’s eighth team over his 12-year big-league career. He’s played with every team except Washington in the National League East, and has more at-bats and home runs (16) against the Marlins than any other team he’s faced.
“It means a lot to come to a place, A, where they want you, but, B, where you’re in a pennant race,” Francoeur said. “There’s nothing better than that.”
In order to acquire Francoeur, the Marlins gave up two of their international signing slots (No. 37 and No. 97) and minor-league catcher Matt Foley in a three-way deal that also involved the Texas Rangers.
Francoeur also provides the Marlins with a natural fourth outfielder, something they’ve been missing in the wake of the Stanton injury. Infielder Robert Andino has seem some time in the outfield in the aftermath.
To make room for Francoeur on their 25-man roster, outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was designated for assignment. The Marlins had claimed Arcia off waivers from Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
Friday: Marlins RHP David Phelps (7-6, 2.28) vs. San Diego Padres RHP Jarred Cosart (0-1, 4.54), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
Saturday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (2-4, 6.33) vs. San Diego Padres LHP Clayton Richard (0-3, 4.44), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.