CHICAGO -- If you are going to make history, Wrigley Field is certainly an ideal setting.
Chris Hatcher earned an intriguing distinction on Saturday afternoon, attaching himself to something that hadn't been done in 75 years.
The 26-year-old Hatcher became the first player since Art Doll of the Boston Braves in 1936 to debut as a pitcher the year after breaking into the big leagues as a catcher.
Hatcher worked a perfect eighth inning, striking out Kosuke Fukudome on a 94-mph fastball for the final out of the frame in the Marlins' 13-3 win over the Cubs in front of 40,709.
"Where else to do it than Wrigley Field?" Hatcher said. "The prestige and heritage of this park is unbelievable. To be able to come in and throw the ball well and get three outs -- it's what everybody dreams of."
Hatcher first appeared in a big league game on Sept. 26, 2010, when he started the game as a catcher. He appeared in four games behind the plate, and he was hitless in six at-bats.
In the offseason, he converted to a reliever with a mid-90s fastball. The Marlins recalled him from Double-A Jacksonville on July 8.
Manager Jack McKeon has been trying to find the right opportunity to get the former fifth-round pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft into a game.
"We were waiting for the right spot," McKeon said. "I'm here to win. I'm not here to babysit. I'm here to win. The development stuff, get it down in the Minor Leagues. I'm going to win if it's possible. I'm not running a tryout camp out there.
"I thought he was impressive. I wish I could get him in more. But these are guys who have been with us all year. These guys, you have faith in those guys. You pick the right spots to get [Hatcher] in."
With the Marlins holding an eight-run lead in the eighth, it made for a relaxing first appearance for Hatcher.
"I thought I'd be nervous," Hatcher said. "I got out there, and home plate looked like it was 20 feet away. That kind of knocked the nerves down. More anxious than anything. Threw the ball well, kept the ball down, did my job."
McKeon, 80, said he wasn't aware of Doll's distinction of catching one year and pitching the next with the Boston Braves.
"He was just about a year or two before me," McKeon said jokingly. "I don't remember him. I didn't play against him. I played against Connie [Mack]."
Most likely, Hatcher will be headed back to the Minor Leagues after Sunday's game because Florida will be reinstating Clay Hensley from the disabled list. Hensley will join the rotation and face the Mets at Citi Field on Monday.
"I figured if I was going to make my debut, today was going to be the day," Hatcher said. "I was down there collecting my thoughts. I was thinking about what I had to do."
McKeon sees 30/30 season in Stanton's future
CHICAGO -- Armed with immense raw power, Mike Stanton has the potential to be a future home run champion.
Could the 21-year-old Marlins right fielder also become a threat on the bases?
Manager Jack McKeon certainly thinks so.
In fact, McKeon envisions Stanton becoming a 30/30 player, meaning he's capable of hitting 30 homers and stealing 30 bases in the same season.
"I want to make him a complete player," McKeon said. "I told him, 'You can be a 30/30 guy, easy.' I've got to sell him on the idea that this is what you've got to do."
Stanton has just three steals in five attempts this season. And he's dealt with some leg issues this year. In Spring Training, he was hampered by a strained right quad, and in April, he had a strained left hamstring.
"[McKeon] talked to me about that," Stanton said. "He said to watch other guys and guys who steal bases, and learn from them and carry into my game."
At 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, Stanton is a towering figure and a former three-sport athlete. In high school, he was a standout in football, baseball and basketball.
"He needs a little polish on the bases," McKeon said. "But that's because he has not had that much experience."
Stanton has eight steals in his MLB career.
McKeon is impressed by Stanton's first step and feels he can be a formidable baserunner.
"I gave him the steal one night a while back, and he stood there standing up," McKeon said. "I was like, 'Get in position to steal.' All of a sudden, 'Boom!' He steals it easy. This guy has such explosive speed. His first step, you can't believe.
"The way he can burst that initial first step ... he also was a wide receiver. He's quick out of the chute."
Stanton has drawn comparisons to Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, who was a three-sport athlete during his days at the University of Minnesota.
"I think Stanton runs better than Winfield," McKeon said. "I don't think Winfield stole many bases. But he had that long stride, like Stanton. They've got those long strides."
Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, who is now a Marlins special assistant, was a five-tool player who never achieved 30/30 status. Five times he did hit more than 20 homers and steal more than 20 bases in the same season.
Dawson feels Stanton's best chance to be a 30/30 player is early in his career.
"The 30 steals will be a challenge for him, because he's a big guy," Dawson said. "He's not a guy who is small, lean, fleet-footed. He hasn't grown into his body yet. He's going to fill out more. How much bigger he gets is something that remains to be seen."
Bonifacio compared to former Marlin Castillo
CHICAGO -- He's a switch-hitter with tremendous speed and he wears No. 1.
Those are similarities that Emilio Bonifacio has with former Marlins All-Star Louis Castillo.
Florida manager Jack McKeon hopes that Bonifacio assumes several more characteristics with Castillo.
In his prime, Castillo presented a speed and on-base threat at the top of the Marlins' order. He batted second on the 2003 World Series squad.
Bonifacio, meanwhile, is starting to establish himself as an everyday player. He entered Saturday afternoon riding a career-high 14-game hitting streak, the most by a Marlin this year. It's also the longest active stretch in the Major Leagues.
"He's taking pitches and becoming a good hitter," McKeon said. "He's a switch-hitter who is stronger from the right side than he is from the left."
What McKeon wants to see Bonifacio do more of is slap hit.
"As soon as he learns to slap the ball like Louie, he will be even better," McKeon said.
Bonifacio is starting to figure things out at the plate. In July, he is batting .429 (18-for-42) with eight stolen bases.
One of the fastest players in the game, Bonifacio paces the Marlins with 19 infield hits, which is tied for the fifth most in the Majors. Michael Bourn and Juan Pierre are tied for the lead with 24.
And Bonifacio has a club-leading six bunt singles. The MLB lead is 10, shared by Peter Bourjos, Alexi Casilla and Juan Pierre.
Dawson offers his take on young Marlins
CHICAGO -- On-the-job training is the best experience.
Marlins special assistant Andre Dawson certainly believes that is true.
Dawson, the Hall of Fame former outfielder, is with the club at Wrigley Field this weekend. Still a Chicago legend from his days playing with the Cubs, Dawson was slated to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch on Saturday.
Pregame, he was in his Marlins uniform as the team went through batting practice.
The Marlins are in last place, striving to get back to .500. Dawson says the second half will be telling for the players.
"This will tell what you're made of," he said. "It's not always about how you start, but how you finish. I think over the course of the first half, sometimes you are exposed. And you have to figure out how to adjust to it in the second half of the season.
"What is out there is pretty much what you see. At this level, they're going to know how you make adjustments, and what do you need to do to stay consistent and on top of your game."
Dawson notes that every game presents a different challenge.
"Every game, you are probably going to experience or see something you didn't see," the former outfielder said. "It's a different game every day. They are going to learn. All of this is valuable. At this point, you're getting your feet under you. You are gaining confidence. Experience is your best teacher."