Stanton eyes return to Marlins' lineup Wednesday

Stanton eyes return to Marlins' lineup Wednesday

ATLANTA -- Barring setbacks, Giancarlo Stanton could be back in the Marlins' lineup on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old slugger hasn't played since Sept. 16 because of a sore left intercostal muscle.

But on Tuesday, Stanton took about 70 swings in the cages. There is some discomfort, but not enough to completely shut him down for the rest of the season.

"I figure we have one shot left in the season," Stanton said. "Do you wait out until you have two games left? Or do you push it a little early, and see what you've got?"

Stanton tweaked his side while sliding into home plate on Sept. 15 against the Reds. He played the following day, but it bothered him swinging the bat.

Manager Ozzie Guillen hasn't firmly committed to starting Stanton on Wednesday, but he is strongly considering it.

The Marlins have eight games left, and the All-Star right fielder hopes to contribute for a team that is in need of a boost.

Stanton has 34 home runs and 81 RBIs in 117 games.

"He's hitting today," Guillen said. "He's going to let me know after practice. We'll go from there."

Miami's outfield is thin because Stanton, Justin Ruggiano and Austin Kearns are all dealing with ailments.

Ruggiano returned to Miami to get an MRI on his right shoulder. Kearns has had back discomfort.

Kearns says he is ready to pinch-hit.