Marlins’ Stanton hit by pitch in intrasquad
The Marlins didn’t have to wait long to find out how Giancarlo Stanton would react the first time he’s hit by a pitch.
During an intrasquad game Saturday, Stanton took a Henderson Alvarez fastball off the left hip. Stanton tried spinning out of the way, but couldn’t avoid the offering. The good-humored Stanton gestured toward Alvarez and yelled out a playful taunt in Spanish. The two shook hands before Alvarez departed for the clubhouse.
“Feels good,” Stanton said, afterward. “No thoughts, 100 percent fine. Didn’t have one thought about it.”
Saturday marked the first time Stanton stepped into the batters’ box with the specially outfitted helmet that features a football style guard with a decorative ‘G’ molded into it. Thursday, Stanton faced live pitching for the first time since a Mike Fiers fastball on Sept. 11 struck him in the face and ended his season.
Alvarez pitched to Stanton on Thursday as well and admittedly was nervous. Stanton did not take any swings during the live BP session.
“(I cringed) for about a tenth of a second until I realized it didn’t hit him in too bad of a spot,” said catcher J.T. Realmuto, who was behind the plate when Alvarez hit Stanton. “He’s built pretty good, so I knew it probably didn’t hurt him too bad. I don’t even know if he felt it. I think the baseball might have been hurt more than him.
“Henderson has a pretty good fastball. He was just trying to throw an inside two-seam. He lives and dies with that pitch. Obviously, it’s pretty competitive out there, especially when you’re facing Stanton. All the pitchers want to get him out. He tried to throw that inside fastball and it just got away from him a little bit.”
Earlier in the game, Stanton faced Brad Hand and Dan Haren. Martin Prado at third made a nice play on a ball to his left for a fielder’s choice when Stanton made contact with a Hand pitch. He later flew out to the warning track in right-center off Haren. Stanton took one more turn off Tom Koehler and struck out.
“The good thing is he turned the right way,” manager Mike Redmond said, of the hit by pitch. “I think we’ve all kind of anticipated when that was going to happen. It’s probably better to get it out of the way now. I know it’s been in all of those pitchers’ minds when he steps in there … He handled it fine and moved on.”
Stanton didn’t acknowledge the benefit of getting the first hit-by-pitch out of the way, saying: “Honestly, it doesn’t matter either way, if you get hit or not. I’ll get hit again eventually.”
As far as the new helmet, Stanton had no complaints. It did not feel heavy, which is good news considering a lighter version made with titanium is on its way.
“You can’t get [the guard] fully out of your vision, out of your peripheral, at least,” Stanton said. “In terms of focusing on the pitcher I had no trouble with that, but walking up or running the bases, it’s more noticeable because you’re not focusing on one thing.”
Stanton added that if he’s on base during breaks in the action he’ll consider switching to a normal helmet.
Redmond liked everything he saw from Stanton Saturday, saying: “His swings, his approaches, his at-bats, he looks totally comfortable. He’s been really good. Like I’ve said, this guy is a competitor. When you get into the box your focus is to beat that pitcher. That’s what he’s trying to do.”