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Giancarlo Stanton is the Miami Marlins' lone representative on the National League All-Star team, but a sore right knee might force him to miss Tuesday's All-Star Game and Monday's Home Run Derby. Stanton has not played since Monday, and an MRI taken Tuesday revealed "loose bodies" in the knee.
Stanton said Wednesday that he hopes to play during the Marlins' weekend series against the St. Louis Cardinals, but if he can't he will likely sit out the All-Star events. "I'm going to go for this weekend," he said to MLB.com. "I feel all right. I just have got to let some swelling and stuff go down."
Marlins general manager Michael Hill was more cautious. "Obviously you want him to play for us before he goes play in an exhibition game," he told the Miami Herald on Wednesday. "It wouldn't be smart (otherwise). We have a long season. If we want to get ourselves back into it, he's a big part of it and you want to make sure he's able to do that."
Stanton has been the best hitter on the Marlins this season, with a .283 batting average, 19 home runs and 50 RBI. His selection for the All-Star roster was a no-brainer, as was his berth in the Home Run Derby.
"We thought he would take batting practice, see how he feels, but I don't want to take any chances," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said on Tuesday. "I think we've been lucky because he's played this long without any problems," he told MLB.com on Wednesday.
Stanton's knee locked up late in the Marlins' game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday. He has not appeared in a game since. "It locked up on me, and that was it," he said. "It's something I didn't really want to mess with right now."
There is no word yet on whether Stanton would travel to Kansas City for All-Star festivities even if he cannot play. Guillen sounded skeptical when asked when he thought Stanton would return to the lineup. "I think one knee problem is not going to be resolved in one or two days," he said. "The question is, can he tolerate pain to play? Or do we have to shut him down?"
The Marlins are hoping desperately not to have to shut him down. Whereas almost every other hitter on the team has underperformed this season, Stanton has been as good as advertised. Hoping to make a comeback in the NL East standings (where the Marlins currently sit in fourth place), the team will find that task all the more difficult without Stanton coming to bat four times a night.