{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Slugger Stanton learning to take walks

|
Slugger Stanton learning to take walks play video for Slugger Stanton learning to take walks

MIAMI -- Since the start of Spring Training, one of the most asked questions regarding the Marlins has been: Will teams pitch around Giancarlo Stanton?

Monday night was the first time in seven games that the indication was clearly yes.

Braves left-hander Paul Maholm was not willing to challenge the Miami All-Star right fielder. Even with two outs and no one on in the first inning, Stanton walked.

By the time the game ended in a 2-0 Atlanta victory, Stanton walked three times and struck out once.

"Stanton did a good job laying off some pitches," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "You could clearly see that they weren't going to give him anything to hit. Whereas, in the last few days, he has gotten some pitches to hit. They clearly weren't going to give him anything."

Atlanta's approach was certainly different than other teams during the six-game road trip to open the season. At Washington and New York, Stanton had pitches to hit.

One reason Maholm didn't go after Stanton was because left-handed-hitting Greg Dobbs was behind him.

"I wasn't technically trying to go right at him," Maholm said afterward. "Left-on-left was coming up next. If he wanted to swing at one of my pitches, that was great. But I'm not going to give him a cookie to hit and allow him to do damage. I was trying to get him to fish and not really be able to make solid contact."

That's why Stanton was seeing full-count off-speed pitches.

The three walks gave Stanton seven on the season, tied for third most in the Major Leagues entering Tuesday. Only Joey Votto (10) and Albert Pujols (8) had more free passes.

"Right now, he's just going to have to be patient," Redmond said. "It's one thing to sit here and talk about it and talk to him about it. But I'm not the one going out there. It's him. He's going to be fine. He's just got to prepare himself to be ready to hit."

Without another serious power threat in the lineup, Stanton is targeted as the player other teams will not let beat them.

Even sluggers on stacked lineups have to be willing to take their share of walks.

"Not ideal, but I'm not worried," Stanton said.

Teams will be looking to frustrate him, so it will be a matter of him having the patience not to chase pitches.

"It's a difference of [the count being] 2-2 or 3-1," he said. "It's a whole different ballgame when you bear down and know what they are going to do to you or not. You have to. Otherwise, you're going to self destruct."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español