Marlins disappointed not having ASG rep in KC
Lone Miami All-Star Stanton replaced by Nationals' Harper in Midsummer Classic
ST. LOUIS -- Capping a disappointing first half for the Marlins is news that there will be no players from the organization present at the All-Star Game in Kansas City on Tuesday.
The team's lone All-Star spent Sunday morning undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in Miami.
Giancarlo Stanton, named on July 1 to the Midsummer Classic for the first time, had "loose bodies" removed from his right knee on Sunday morning, and he will be out four to six weeks. The surgery also is preventing the 22-year-old from attending the All-Star Game on Tuesday at Kansas City.
In place of Stanton, Major League Baseball and National League manager Tony La Russa opted to take Washington rookie outfielder Bryce Harper.
"I think there were a lot of different ways that Tony or MLB could have gone," team president David Samson said. "I think it's unfortunate. I think every team should be represented on the line at an All-Star Game."
Samson spoke with an MLB representative about the decision to not take another Miami player as a replacement. MLB had no comment on Samson's remarks.
Asked if he was given a reason why no Marlins replacement was selected, Samson replied: "I can't say that I had one."
Stanton's spot in Monday's State Farm Home Run Derby is being filled by Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.
The Marlins feel reliever Steve Cishek, outfielder Justin Ruggiano, and even pinch-hit specialist, Greg Dobbs, could have been considered. The same with second baseman Omar Infante.
Although he won't be at the game, Stanton is considered the Marlins' representative. But due to his surgery, the slugger won't be able to travel to Kansas City.
"I think that all teams are supposed to be represented," Samson said.
As a team, the Marlins have had a subpar first half, entering Sunday two games under .500. Still, Miami has 10 players on its current roster who have previously been to All-Star Games.
The Marlins also have situational players like Cishek and Dobbs, who the club feels could help the National League.
"Obviously, it's been a disappointing first half, there is no question about it," Samson said. "That said, there are plenty of other teams who have had disappointing first halves who have plenty of All-Stars.
"We have a team full of All-Stars. If you look at the fact that this game counts, and you need people to win games, having Dobbs as an All-Star as a pinch-hitter off the bench, having Cishek come in and get some righties out, having Ruggiano come, who is completely clubbing the ball right now."
Ruggiano has seen a limited amount of time this season. He was acquired from the Astros as part of a Minor League deal on May 26. He was brought up to the Marlins a day later, and he's batting .410 with six home runs and 17 RBIs in 31 games.
"Obviously, MLB or Tony, or whoever makes the decision, had their own view of it," Samson said. "And it's certainly disappointing. Listen, there is nothing you can do about it, except to say, I wish the first half would have gone differently."
The Marlins entered the season with high hopes in their new retractable-roof stadium. Marlins Park, a sleek new facility, has been a hit among fans. But the team has had its troubles growing the natural grass.
"I think the grass sort of reflects our season," Samson said. "It's brown right now, but getting greener."
There is certainly precedent of players taking part in the All-Star festivities knowing they aren't physically able to play.
In 1988, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, then with the White Sox, was injured. He was hit by a pitch and not available, but he still represented Chicago.
If Guillen had a choice to send a Marlin to fill in for Stanton, he would recommend Ruggiano, Cishek or Infante.
"But everybody else, I don't think they've had an All-Star year, to be honest," Guillen said. "That's my opinion. Maybe Cishek has put up nice numbers. I don't know if Ruggiano has had enough at-bats. Right behind them, I'd put Infante. The rest of them, they should be watching TV."