The Marlins got a close win on Sunday (recap), but their chances of making the playoffs decreased, likely significantly. After the 5-4 win, manager Don Mattingly told reporters that Giancarlo Stanton's groin injury is severe enough that he'll miss the rest of the season (via Joe Frisaro).
So Stanton ends the season hitting .244/.329/.496 with 25 homers and 70 RBI in 103 games played. The Marlins will now turn to Ichiro Suzuki as their everyday right fielder beside excellent young outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yelich.
Here are five more things to know:
1. Stanton's rate stat line is a bit misleading
Stanton was brutal for five weeks and it ruined his season average and on-base percentage. He hit .118/.211/.216 from May 7 through June 15. Before that, he hit .274/.391/.632 and since then he's hit .299/.361/.582 with 11 doubles, 13 homers and 41 RBI in 48 games.
Basically, he was having a great season aside from the extended slump that ruined his slash line. This doesn't mean he should've been an All-Star or in MVP consideration -- that stretch definitely counts -- but it does mean that dismissing the loss as "he's a .244 hitter! Who cares?" is complete and utter nonsense. He's long since buried that slump.
Not only that, but few power hitters -- if any -- command the attention of opposition like Stanton. He's a threat to homer on every single pitch and the Marlins don't have anyone else like that.
2. This changes the complexion of the lineup
Power isn't the Marlins' calling card, as they entered Sunday ranked 13th in the NL in home runs, but they are now much less powerful. Very few remaining in the lineup are even threats to go deep on a weekly basis.
Without Stanton and Justin Bour (who is also currently hurt), the Marlins only have two players in double digits in home runs in Ozuna and Yelich. After those two, it's Martin Prado with seven home runs.
Home runs aren't everything and the Marlins are already proof of that by hanging in the wild-card race. They are game-changers, though, and the Marlins now are mostly stuck trying to manufacture runs or luckily enough to string together lots of singles in a row for big innings.
3. Ichiro hasn't been an everyday player in years
He's having a very good year, hitting .316/.388/.386, but we can't be sure that'll hold up now on a daily basis.
Ichiro has started just 36 games this season. Last year he started 88. In 2014, he started 94. In 2013, 126. You have to go back to 2012 to find him as what could be considered a regular starter.
Ichiro is an amazing athlete, but he's 42 years old and Father Time is undefeated. It's difficult to realistically believe he can keep hitting for such a high average on a day-in, day-out basis at this age without having the benefit of only being plugged into advantageous matchups.
Perhaps Ichiro could be platooned with a right-handed hitter? Yes, he hits lefties well. I'm just saying if they need to make him a part-time player, they could find guys who hit lefties well but not righties and can split time. Leading us to ...
4. The Marlins can still trade for help
Here's how trades after the deadline can happen. Jeff Francoeur (.280/.320/.432 against lefties this year) and Ryan Raburn (.260/.339/.485 career against lefties) could fit the bill and would surely clear waivers.
5. No, A-Rod doesn't help
He can't play outfield.
But would you put it past Jeffrey Loria to grab A-Rod as a pinch-hitting type?
Seriously, though, the chances are probably better to grab Carlos Gomez, if searching through players available to be signed. He's far younger and a better fit for the roster.