Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice Tuesday for the first time since Friday, an encouraging sign the Marlins right fielder is getting closer to returning to the starting lineup.
Stanton hasn’t played since last Wednesday because of a bruised left shoulder. The Marlins will be thrilled if he can return Thursday for the start of a four-game series in Cincinnati.
“We’re just going to wait and see how it responds,’’ manager Mike Redmond said. “He hasn’t done anything in five days. We’ll see how it feels throughout the day and probably (Wednesday) and go from there.
“He said it felt good. It felt a lot better. … I’m hoping he shows up (Wednesday) and feels even better. That’d be a really encouraging sign.’’
Redmond wouldn’t put a timetable on Stanton’s return. “I just want to make sure he’s right,’’ he said.
Stanton, who wasn’t available to reporters before Tuesday’s game, said Monday night that he was encouraged about his shoulder.
“It has gotten significantly better,” he said.
The worst part, Stanton said, is watching from the bench as the Marlins struggle to score runs.
“I don’t like it, to sit there knowing I can’t do anything at this point,” he said.
“I didn’t even do much when I was there (playing earlier this season), but at least I was trying and I could give something to them. It’s not fun to watch. I’d rather be participating.”
Mahoney to come off DL: First baseman Joe Mahoney, who has been on the disabled list with an intercostal strain, played well in his rehabilitation stint with Class A Jupiter. He went 7-for-12 in his first three games.
After Tuesday’s game, the Marlins announced they were optioning catcher Kyle Skipworth to Triple-A New Orleans and would reinstate Mahoney from the DL on Wednesday.
The intercostal muscles are inside a person’s rib cage and help the movement of the torso.
Nolasco still seeking win: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco might be the franchise leader in wins (76), but he’s still looking for his first victory this season.
Nolasco, who is scheduled to face Washington on Wednesday night, is 0-1 with a 3.12 ERA in three starts.
This is the longest stretch into a season Nolasco has gone without a win since his rookie season in 2006, when he earned a win in his fifth start.
“He has pitched well enough. He should be 3-0,’’ Redmond said.
“He has done everything he could do to keep us in games. We just haven’t scored. There’s not much I can say. He’s just got to keep grinding it out.’’