The status of two of baseball's best sluggers will be front and center when the Marlins host the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Monday night at Marlins Park. A thumb injury threatens to sideline Milwaukee's Ryan Braun while Miami's Giancarlo Stanton will return to action.
Stanton, who was activated before Monday's game, will reassume his duties as the Marlins right fielder, but Marcell Ozuna -- his replacement since April 30 -- isn't going anywhere.
The rookie has shined filling Stanton's void in right field since April 30, batting .331 with one home run and 17 RBIs.
Ozuna has proven especially valuable in Miami's past eight games, hitting at a .649 clip (24-for-37) with seven RBIs and six runs scored. The Marlins are 5-3 during the stretch.
"For him to sustain his approach for this amount of time," manager Mike Redmond said, "that was always the question mark with him. With his aggressiveness, could he stay in the strike zone and swing at strikes? He has.
"He's done great. To see his energy and what he means to the team. Whether he gets a hit or three hits one day, he's the same player. He's appreciating the fact we have faith in him in bringing him to the big leagues."
Miami is considering moving Ozuna to center field. This would mark one of several changes for the Marlins, who welcomed back first baseman Logan Morrison on Sunday and anticipate the return of several other injured players.
"We're going to have to sit down and figure out where these guys are at," Redmond said. "We knew we'd be getting guys back. Now, of course, it all works out that we'll get them all back in the same week.
"For us, that's a good situation to have. We're getting the lineup we thought we'd have in Spring Training back and healthy. That's good."
Miami will look to continue a winning start to June by welcoming a hot Milwaukee club to Marlins Park.
The Brewers have won three straight but remain stuck in the cellar of one of baseball's toughest divisions -- the NL Central.
"We're in a division that's really good," manager Ron Roenicke said. "And the three teams ahead of us, to think that we have to catch them when we're not healthy and [at] full strength, it's difficult.
"The last three weeks, I haven't even looked at the standings. I'd rather not even know. I'm concerned that we hang on and we play well enough and we start winning games, and then when we get strong, then maybe I'll start looking where we are. I just know we need to start playing better, and get healthy."
If Roenicke and his club are without Braun for a while, he might not check the NL Central standings for a while. Braun ranks either first or second for Milwaukee in hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks and on-base percentage.
Another obstacle for Braun this week will be increased attention due to recent reports of his connection to the Biogenesis clinic and its alleged sales of performance-enhancing drugs.
Brewers: Gallardo aims to break out of slump
• Right-hander Yovani Gallardo gets the start for Milwaukee in hopes of breaking out of his recent slump.
Gallardo has given up four earned runs or more in his past three starts, logging 15 2/3 innings.
He hasn't recorded a quality start since May 20 against the Dodgers, his second straight at the time.
His ERA has jumped from 4.50 to 5.25 in his past three starts.
Marlins: Nolasco bids to end winless drought
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco will take the mound for Miami searching for his first win since May 19 against the D-backs.
The winless drought has been one of hard luck for Nolasco, who has notched five quality starts in his past six outings.
One explanation for Nolasco's lack of wins is poor run support. His 2.31 runs of support per nine innings are the fewest in the Majors.
• Morrison made his Miami debut on Sunday, starting at first base and batting fifth in an 8-4 win against the Mets in 10 innings at Citi Field.
He finished 2-for-4 and scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th.
Morrison underwent offseason knee surgery and had not played in the Majors since last July before starting Sunday's game.
• The Brewers' three-game winning streak is their longest since taking nine straight contests from April 14-23.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.