NEW YORK METS (82-61, first place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (61-82, third place/NL East)
MARLINS SHORT HOPS
Slugger Giancarlo Stanton appears unlikely to return this season. Stanton underwent surgery after fracturing the hamate bone in the base of the hand on June 26. The original forecast was for Stanton to miss only four to six weeks. Stanton has struggled to regain strength in his pinkie and ring fingers. “To have no grip strength, to have no feeling at first, that’s what I’m coming back from,” Stanton told the Miami Herald. “So that’s taking way longer than I could have anticipated, coming from zero.”
In his first outing since Aug. 7, Jose Fernandez allowed two hits and a walk in five scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals on Saturday. Fernandez had been on the disabled list with a right biceps strain. He became the third pitcher in major league history to begin his career with a 16-0 record at home, joining Johnny Allen (1932-33) and LaMarr Hoyt (1980-82). Allen and Hoyt each suffered a loss in his next decision. Fernandez, who is represented by Scott Boras, recently pledged that he would work out a plan with the Marlins during the winter so that his 2016 workload is mapped out ahead of time and a repeat of the Matt Harvey drama will not play out with him as he works back from Tommy John surgery.
Adeiny Hechavarria has been sidelined since departing a game Sept. 2 with a strained left hamstring. Miguel Rojas has handled shortstop in Hechavarria’s absence. Hechavarria leads NL shortstops in UZR at 14.1.
After posting a 1.98 ERA during a four-start span, including tossing seven scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves Sept. 1, rookie Justin Nicolino was tagged for five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Milwaukee Brewers in his last start. Nicolino, 23, arrived in the November 2012 trade that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Koehler allowed two runs in eight innings last Wednesday to earn his first win since July 23. Koehler, a Stony Brook University product, had been 0-7 with a 6.31 ERA in his previous eight starts.
Dan Jennings, who went from GM to the manager’s seat when Mike Redmond was fired in May, is unlikely to remain in the dugout in 2016. It’s unclear if Jennings will remain with the organization at all.
Ichiro Suzuki, who primarily has handled right field for the Marlins, snapped an 0-for-15 drought Saturday.