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Staying fresh as DH, Stanton eyes all 162

Lone Marlin to play in every game so far this year, slugger making most of AL park

Staying fresh as DH, Stanton eyes all 162

HOUSTON -- If possible, Giancarlo Stanton wants to go the distance. The Marlins' All-Star right fielder is determined to play every day.

With that in mind, the Marlins are finding ways to best keep Stanton fresh. Being used a couple of days as the designated hitter has been an option this weekend against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

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On Saturday and Sunday, Stanton was Miami's DH, getting the 24-year-old slugger off his feet in right field.

Stanton is the only Miami player to appear in all 104 games, with third baseman Casey McGehee at 103.

The slugger welcomes the chance to only hit as a DH.

"I think it's good because I don't want any days off, for the most part," Stanton said. "This is a physical-type of day off, not a mental one."

All month, Stanton has been on the go. He was a centerpiece during the All-Star break, participating in the Home Run Derby, as well as starting as the DH in the All-Star Game.

Stanton, who has 23 homers and 69 RBIs, has dealt with his share of injuries in recent years. He appeared in 116 games last year, and 123 in 2012. In 2011, his first full season in the big leagues, he plated in 150 games.

The two-time All-Star understands what he means to the Marlins -- as a leader and a run producer. Being a staple in the lineup is important to him.

"All season, I haven't wanted one," Stanton said of a day off. "I feel like I've had my time off plenty, and not in my control. That's one of the things I wanted to do this year."

Stanton got a taste of being the DH in the All-Star Game. What's important is getting ready for when his at-bats come around.

"The at-bats kind of come up quicker than you realize, too, when you're only focused on one thing," Stanton said.

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