Club must work to pick up slack for Stanton

Club must work to pick up slack for Stanton

Club must work to pick up slack for Stanton
MIAMI -- Acquiring Carlos Lee on July 4 was a step in trying to bolster the Marlins' lineup.

The addition of an established middle-of-the-order bat is just one step to increase run production in the second half.

It will take a group effort to replace the power of Giancarlo Stanton, who is out four to six weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee.

The Marlins had hoped to match Lee and Stanton together in the middle of their order. But that didn't materialize, as Stanton had his surgery on July 8, four days after Lee was obtained from the Astros for Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen.

On Saturday night, in Miami's 2-1 win over the Nationals, Lee collected his first RBI since the trade. His single in the fourth inning scored Jose Reyes, giving the Marlins an early lead.

"We have to keep playing," Lee said. "It's a team effort. I know Stanton is a big part of the team, a big part of the middle of the lineup. But we still have to go out there and everybody has to do the little parts -- play the game right and win games."

In assessing their roster heading into July, Marlins management determined the offense was lacking, so they targeted an established hitter.

Heading into the season, the Marlins felt they would have plenty of firepower. But it didn't materialize.

"The No. 1 thing that we felt the most confidence in coming into the season was that, 'Hey, we're going to score runs,'" Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. "This is Hanley Ramirez. This is Jose Reyes. This is Giancarlo Stanton. This is Logan Morrison. This is Gaby Sanchez. This team is going to score runs."

When the lineup didn't deliver, the front office felt it was a time to make a change, so Lee was acquired.

"So we had to make the move for Carlos, kind of a proven run producer," Beinfest said. "He's kind of a big guy who can stand in the middle of that lineup and maybe change it."