ARLINGTON -- After a successful rehab assignment stint in recent days with Double-A Jacksonville, Rafael Furcal is returning to Class A Jupiter to play in a few more games.
The Marlins aren't saying exactly when Furcal is scheduled to come off the disabled list. Indications are it will be soon.
Furcal, who has been on the disabled list all season, played five straight games with Double-A Jacksonville, going 6-for-20 in the stretch.
The 36-year-old infielder's legs are holding up nicely, and the Marlins could reinstate him as early as Friday for the start of the homestand against the Pirates.
"I don't know when that day is coming, but it is probably coming soon," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "It was coming soon about a month ago, too, and it didn't. I think it's safe to say coming soon."
Furcal strained his left hamstring in Spring Training, which is why he was initially placed on the DL. But on rehab assignment in late April, he strained his right groin.
Miami signed Furcal as a free agent to be their leadoff hitter and regular second baseman. Left fielder Christian Yelich has served as Miami's top-of-the-order hitter.
"The thought was initially when the season started that he was going to be our leadoff guy and play second every day," Redmond said of Furcal. "Here we are on June 10 and he hasn't played a game yet."
Alvarez shakes off strain, will make next start Sunday
ARLINGTON -- Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez received a scare in his last start, but the right-hander didn't suffer a serious setback.
Alvarez strained his left hip on Sunday at Wrigley Field, but the ailment won't prevent him from making his next start, which will be Sunday against the Pirates at Marlins Park.
"I'm going to pitch the entire season," Alvarez said. "Everything was fine. I was good. The only thing is when I fell, it looked ugly. But I could have kept pitching."
The news is a huge relief for the Marlins and Alvarez.
In the sixth inning at Wrigley Field, Alvarez overextended his left leg while making a leaping catch while pulling in Garrett Jones' high flip at first base.
Chicago's Luis Valbuena slapped a sharp grounder that Jones made a nice play on at first. Alvarez, hustling to cover first, was pulled away from the bag by Jones' high flip.
Attempting to touch first, Alvarez lunged his leg backwards, trying to touch the base. Instead, he stumbled awkwardly to the ground.
Testing the hip, he threw one warmup pitch before being replaced. Dan Jennings entered and surrendered a two-run triple to Nate Schierholtz. One of the runs were earned, which meant Alvarez's streak of 26 consecutive scoreless innings was snapped. It's the third longest stretch in club history.
"I wanted to keep pitching," Alvarez said. "I didn't have anything wrong with my body. I wanted to keep pitching. It bothered me they took me out of the game, especially a game I was pitching so well in. I could have continued. But those are things that happen in baseball. I've got to let it go. It's over now. I have to keep looking forward."
Alvarez is ready to start a new streak.
"He seems to be fine," manager Mike Redmond said. "That's good news. It looks like everything is going to be fine, but we'll know more when he throws his bullpen [session]. From what he said, he should be good to go."
Stanton predicts more power pitchers to come
ARLINGTON -- Giancarlo Stanton, with his size and strength, is becoming the standard of the next generation of power hitters.
The Marlins right fielder stands nearly 6-foot-6 and weighs close to 260 pounds of solid muscle. Stanton's home runs are awe-inspiring, and they frequently rank among the furthest hit this season.
Home-grown, Stanton was the Marlins' second-round Draft pick in 2007, and he's emerged as a force since breaking into the big leagues in 2010.
While the slugger is helping to re-define today's prototypical power hitter, the Marlins may have just drafted the Stanton of pitchers.
With the second overall pick in last Thursday's First-Year Player Draft, Miami selected Tyler Kolek, the hard-throwing right-hander from Shepherd, Texas.
Kolek says he is 6-foot-5 1/2 and 255 pounds. His fastball has been clocked at 102 mph, the highest reading ever for a high school pitcher.
The emergence of power arms doesn't surprise Stanton.
"I feel like in 10 or 15 years, everybody is going to have Tommy John [surgery], and everyone is going to throw 95, 100 [mph]," Stanton said. "That's going to be the base."
The unfortunate part of throwing so hard is pitchers break down. Miami witnessed that this season when Jose Fernandez underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Last year, Stanton was a teammate of veteran Juan Pierre, who broke into the big leagues in 2000.
"I remember talking to Juan Pierre, and he was like, 'When I came up, everyone was 88-92 [mph],'" Stanton said. "You had two guys on the staff who were 95-plus, two or three. Now, if some guy throws 92, he's their softest-throwing guy."
In Kolek, Stanton sees a massive figure.
"He's like Bour," Stanton said, referring to Justin Bour, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound first baseman who was just promoted to the Marlins from Triple-A New Orleans.
On concussion DL, Salty resumes baseball activities
ARLINGTON -- A concussion has kept Jarrod Saltalamacchia out of the lineup since June 1. But the Marlins catcher is getting closer to getting back into action.
Saltalamacchia was cleared to participate in baseball activities. At the team's complex at Jupiter, Fla., the switch-hitting catcher took 25 swings from the left and right sides on Tuesday. He also played catch and rode the stationary bike.
"He will be on a day-to-day progression, to make sure he doesn't have any symptoms come back, and no headaches, or anything like that," manager Mike Redmond said. "As far as his timeframe, I don't know. It kind of depends on how he feels and progresses through the baseball activities."
The Marlins placed their catcher on the seven-day concussion DL on June 1. He can remain on that status for 14 days. If he needs more time that that, he would be transferred to the 15-day DL.
Jeff Mathis started behind the plate for Miami on Tuesday at Texas.