SAN FRANCISCO -- A strained right hamstring prevented Giancarlo Stanton from traveling with the Marlins to Los Angeles in early May. Once again healthy, the 23-year-old slugger is finally able to play in his home state, even if it is not his hometown.
Stanton, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., welcomes the chance to play at San Francisco's AT&T Park, a place he has batted .400 with four homers and 11 RBIs entering Thursday's series opener vs. the Giants.
On Thursday, Stanton had a couple of family members at the stadium -- his father and brother.
"It's still California," he said. "Just having my brother and dad here, it's little things like that that bring me back to when I was 5, 10, 12, sitting in the stands, too. It's the same game."
Since coming off the disabled list, Stanton has been hot, batting .343 with four homers and 10 RBIs in nine games.
"At the beginning of the season, he was expanding the zone and swinging at some pitches that were way out of the strike zone," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's much better locked into the strike zone."
Nolasco trying to block out trade rumors
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ricky Nolasco is the Marlins' all-time leader in victories and strikeouts. The 30-year-old, in the final year of his contract, also is well aware that his tenure with the organization could be over by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Nolasco's name already has been raised in trade speculation, with the Orioles, Yankees and Giants being possible landing spots.
A Southern California native, Nolasco would welcome an opportunity to pitch in San Francisco, or in his home state. But he adds that is out of his control, and his immediate focus is his start for Miami on Friday night against the Giants at AT&T Park.
"I know what's going on, talking to my agent and stuff like that," Nolasco told a small group of reporters Thursday. "I'm not in free agency yet, so I don't have a choice. I don't have a say in what goes on right now. I'm just going to block that out. I'm trying to stay levelheaded, and I'm just trying to throw the ball well. Things are out of my control right now, so I'm trying not to think about them."
Nolasco has enjoyed great success pitching at AT&T Park, where he is 4-0 with a 0.87 ERA in four starts.
"I wish I could tell you what it was," the right-hander said. "If I knew what it was, I'd try to do it in every ballpark."
The Marlins acquired Nolasco from the Cubs at the 2005 Winter Meetings for Juan Pierre. Since, he's set a number of Marlins records, including wins (80) and strikeouts (987).
Before the 2011 season, Nolasco signed a three-year, $26.5 million deal, including $11.5 million for this year.
If his time in Miami is coming down to a final few starts, he knows that is the nature of the business.
"I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason," Nolasco said. "Don't try to control what you can't control. I'm going about my business every day. If it happens, when it happens, it happens. I'll adapt to wherever I go, or wherever it is. If it does happen, wherever I go, it will sink in after I get settled in over there. I can't be thinking about stuff like that until it actually happens."
With the Marlins in San Francisco, Nolasco was asked directly about the possibility of pitching for the Giants.
"I think it would help anybody to be able to pitch in a place like this. When the crowd is behind you, it's huge," Nolasco said. "I think anybody would like that. I don't think anybody would be disappointed to come to San Francisco."
As for AT&T Park, the right-hander added: "I like everything about this place. The mound is nice. It's a good place to pitch. The crowd is great. Great team. What's there not to like?"
Fernandez making All-Star case for Marlins
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jose Fernandez is not scheduled to start for the Marlins during their four-game series at AT&T Park against the Giants. But San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy is well aware of what the 20-year-old is doing.
Fernandez has already emerged as one of the top rookies in the National League, and he is making a case to represent the Marlins in the All-Star Game.
Bochy will be managing the National League squad in the Midsummer Classic, which is July 16 at Citi Field.
"He's a nice young talent -- gifted arm, hard thrower, good breaking ball," Bochy said. "Threw a great game in Arizona, a tough place to pitch, [Wednesday]. At his age, doing the things that he's doing is pretty impressive. He's their No. 1 guy and is going to be around for a long time."
Fernandez is coming off a tough loss at Arizona, where he was charged with two runs in 7 1/3 innings in Miami's 3-1 loss to the D-backs.
The Marlins don't have any position players ranked among the leaders in the fan voting, which is ongoing at www.mlb.com and www.marlins.com.
Each team has a representative, and Fernandez has certainly impressed. He is 4-4 with a 3.05 ERA. Among NL rookies, he is second in strikeouts with 81. Only Shelby Miller of the Cardinals has more (96).
"A lot of people have definitely seen him," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "He is on the radar screen."
Fernandez, Miami's first-round pick in 2011, made the leap to the big leagues without previously pitching above Class A ball.
He's impressed with his composure, raw talent and makeup. He defected from Cuba five years ago, and he's continued to rise to the occasion.
He throws 97 mph and offsets his fastball with an 82 mph breaking ball.
The Marlins haven't had the excitement centered on a rookie pitcher since Dontrelle Willis was an All-Star in 2003.
"I think it would be cool to have an exciting young player like [Fernandez]," Redmond said. "I remember Dontrelle coming up and getting to the All-Star Game in his first year. Obviously, he had won nine or 10 in a row."