New day. New lineup.
Manager Don Mattingly is looking for something — anything — that clicks at this point, even if that means having slugger Giancarlo Stanton bat second, which was the case on Tuesday.
It marked just the second time in his career Stanton has hit that high in the order. He batted second once last year, going 0 for 2 with a pair of walks. The only two spots where he hasn’t batted are leadoff and ninth.
“He has?” Mattingly asked of Stanton hitting No. 2. “I thought he hadn’t. I told him I was going to do it.”
It’s understandable Mattingly can’t remember lineups, given the number he’s used. Tuesday’s marked his 35th different lineup in 44 games.
“It’s something a little bit different,” Mattingly acknowledged.
There’s good reason. The Marlins have outscored only six other teams in the majors.
“I’d like to find one that works, as much as anything,” Mattingly said. “And if it works, I’d like to stick with it. We haven’t won. Early in the year we tried to stick with the same one a lot. It just wasn’t working. You’re trying to find one that will energize something.”
The Marlins called up hard-throwing right-handed reliever Drew Steckenrider from Triple A on Tuesday to replace reliever David Phelps, who was placed on the bereavement list because of a death in the family.
Steckenrider hs put up strong numbers at New Orleans, striking out 26 hitters in 21 2/3 innings. He’s walked nine batters. The 6-5 pitcher out of the University of Tennessee throws in the upper 90s.
“I worked a lot last year to really work on my direction, straight toward my target rather than going all over the place,” he said. “Last year I felt like was a big step for me as far as gaining a bunch of control.”
Steckenrider was the Marlins’ eighth-round draft pick in 2012.
“Obviously, the first time you bring a guy up, you don’t want to stick him in the eighth inning, bases loaded, nobody out,” Mattingly said when asked how he intends to use the pitcher. “You don’t want to stick him right in the fire.”
Starter Wei-Yin Chen had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection to treat his ailing left arm.
Chen, who is on the disabled list because of “arm fatigue,” has been pitching with a partially torn collateral ligament. Mattingly said Chen’s recovery timetable is unknown.
Last year, Chen missed two months after receiving the same treatment.
“I don’t know what to expect honestly,” Mattingly said.
THIS AND THAT
▪ If Edinson Volquez loses his next start, he will become just the second pitcher to begin his Marlins career with losses in his first seven decisions. Joe Fontenot in 1998 was the other.
Volquez takes the mound Wednesday for the Marlins.
“We want [Volquez] to attack the strike zone, more than anything,” Mattingly said. “I think the walks have definitely been an issue.”
▪ Mattingly said Dan Straily will get the start Friday when the Marlins return home to Miami. He hasn’t decided on a starter for Saturday, though.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Volquez (0-6, 4.87) at Oakland A’s Sonny Gray (1-1, 3.97), 3:35 p.m., Oakland Coliseum.
▪ Thursday: Off day.