PHOENIX — April is history. The hamstring is healed.
All is good again for Giancarlo Stanton, and it could get even better for him over the coming days in Arizona and California — a couple of his favorite hot spots for flaunting his power.
Stanton has averaged one home run in every 7.3 at-bats in National League West ballparks. That compares with one homer in every 17.3 at-bats in NL Central parks and one in every 14.9 at-bats in the four out-of-town NL East venues.
“If I knew what it was, I’d bring it with me to every park,” Stanton said.
If Stanton wallops in Phoenix and San Francisco the way he has in the past there, he will hit the century mark for career home runs on the trip. Stanton is sitting on 98.
Adding fuel to the mix: Stanton is swinging a hot bat since coming off the disabled list with a hamstring injury that sidelined him for five weeks. He brought a six-game hitting streak into Monday and said he feels a lot better now at the plate than he did in April when he hit just .227 and went 18 games before his first homer.
“I wasn’t feeling good, obviously,” Stanton said of his early season woes. “I was a little pull-conscious. I was opening up a little too quick, not waiting and using more of the field, which is what I’ve been doing the last couple of days.’’
When Stanton returned and started hitting out of the gate, he said the feeling was, “Where has this been?”
In his first six games back from the DL, Stanton hit .416 (10 for 24).
“His swing looks good, he looks confident, whereas before he got injured, he was kind of feeling his way,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “He’ s not like that now.”
Hitting for average is a bigger priority for Stanton than hitting for power, or so he says.
“That’s more important for me than the homers,” Stanton said. “That’s [his power] is what everyone wants to see. That’s what you get more credit for. But it’s more impressive for me to be able to have four [or] five good at-bats.”
Slowey to bullpen
Kevin Slowey is being moved to the bullpen as Nathan Eovaldi joins the rotation, beginning with Tuesday’s scheduled start against the Diamondbacks. Tom Koehler, who was hit hard by the Cardinals on Saturday, will remain in the rotation — at least for now.
Henderson Alvarez is also nearing his return from the disabled list. Alvarez is scheduled to make his second rehab start Tuesday for Single A Jupiter.
“Slowey’s going to kind of be that swing man — that long guy, a guy who can come in and throw multiple innings,” Redmond said. “I think it’s good experience for Koehler to stay in that starting rotation and log as many innings as he can.”
All but three of the Marlins’ top 12 picks from the June 6 draft have either signed or agreed to terms, according to Larry Beinfest, Marlins president of baseball operations.
The only players who have not reached agreement on deals, Beinfest said, are first-round pick Colin Moran, sandwich pick Matt Krooks and third-round pick Ben Duluzio. Negotiations with Moran have gone slower because Moran’s team, the University of North Carolina, is playing in the College World Series.
• Chris Coghlan was checked out Sunday by a Texas spine specialist and instructed to continue resting his lower back. That’s good news for the Marlins and Coghlan, who can rule out surgery.
“No surgery, so that’s great,” Redmond said. “You just never know with those types of things. ... He says he’s feeling good.”
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-13, 4.30 ERA) at Arizona Diamondbacks RHP Randall Delgado (0-0, 9.00), 9:40 p.m., Chase Field.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (4-3, 3.11) at Diamondbacks RHP Trevor Cahill (3-8, 3.96), 3:40 p.m., Chase Field.
• Scouting report: It was at Chase Field in 2011 where Eovaldi made his major-league debut and recorded his first win in the process. Eovaldi has made four appearances (three starts) at Chase, going 2-0 with a 3.97 ERA.