MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton has already cleared a couple of first steps in his road to recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
For instance, the Marlins right fielder on Friday was walking without crutches for the first time since two cartilage chips were removed from his knee on Sunday.
The prognosis is Stanton will be out four to six weeks. But he notes it will be up to how his knee responds.
"I honestly have no idea, I've never done this before," Stanton said of when he will be back. "They say four to six weeks.
"It's all on me. It's not like anything has to heal specifically, other than the holes they put in there. It's not like they had to carve anything out."
The Marlins officially placed their All-Star right fielder on the disabled list on Friday, and they reinstated center fielder Emilio Bonifacio.
The 22-year-old Stanton paces the Marlins with 19 home runs and 50 RBIs. Selected as an All-Star for the first time, he felt discomfort in his knee after playing against the Brewers on July 2 at Miller Park. An MRI exam on July 3 revealed "loose bodies" in the knee.
They turned out to be two pieces of cartilage.
"It was a matter of the pieces making my range of motion terrible," Stanton said.
The slugger tried to manage it and participate in the All-Star Game and State Farm Home Run Derby. But after he experienced discomfort in his knee last Saturday in St. Louis, he was removed from the game in the third inning. The next morning, he had surgery, which was performed by team physician, Dr. Lee Kaplan, in Miami.
"This is the first day [without crutches]," he said. "I'm getting my balance and everything back. It feels pretty good."
Former Marlins outfielder Preston Wilson, now an analyst for Fox Sports Florida, can relate to what Stanton is going through. In 2004, Wilson had cartilage fragments removed from his knee.
"It went well for me," Wilson said. "There are different degrees. [Stanton] is a little bit younger. I don't know how much wear and tear he had from football. They went in and cleaned it out. His big thing is going to be maintaining the soreness when it comes back."
Wilson said he returned from his scope in six weeks, but noted his surgery was a little more severe.
"It's amazing now," Wilson said. "They've learned to tailor the rehab. They do a lot of study on the rehab and when you get in and out. The day when I had my surgery, I was riding a bike later that afternoon, just getting that range of motion."
Bonifacio's return adds speed to Miami lineup
MIAMI -- Speed replaced power in the Marlins' lineup on Friday.
It wasn't by design, but out of necessity.
On the day the Marlins placed slugger Giancarlo Stanton on the 15-day disabled list due to "loose bodies" in his right knee, the team reinstated speedster Emilio Bonifacio from the disabled list.
Bonifacio sprained his left thumb on May 18, and he had surgery to repair a torn ligament on May 25. When he went down, he paced the big leagues with 20 steals in 21 attempts.
"That's going to be my home run, stealing bases," said Bonifacio, who hasn't hit a home run all season.
Without Stanton, the Marlins will be looking to run more.
"We need him because he's a spark for the team," manager Ozzie Guillen said of Bonifacio. "To see him in uniform, a run to first base is fun. I think since Boni left, our stolen base situation wasn't very good. I think everybody kind of shut it down."
When Bonifacio was healthy, the team stole 45 bases, and they've had 34 since he went on the disabled list.
"Hopefully Boni brings his running game to the ballclub, and it becomes contagious and we start running," Guillen said.
Bonifacio will be wearing a protective brace over his left hand when he gets on base. If the brace doesn't fit in his back pocket, he may just have first-base coach Gary Thurman hold it.
"I just want to see how my hand is going to be, and that everything is all right," Bonifacio said. "I'm ready to go."
Marlins move Hanley to fifth spot in order for now
MIAMI -- At some point, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen hopes to return Hanley Ramirez to the No. 3 spot in the lineup.
First, the veteran third baseman will have to earn the coveted slot in the order. To go forward, Ramirez is being asked to move backward.
Friday marked the first time this season that Ramirez was hitting as low as fifth. Omar Infante batted second in the series opener with the Nationals at Marlins Park.
Ideally, Guillen would like for Ramirez to hit third.
"On this ballclub, yes," the manager said. "There is no doubt about it. But he's got to start hitting the way he needs to hit to earn that spot. I think right now, he has to find a way. Hopefully, batting fifth, he starts swinging the bat better, and then we will bat him third, because that is the place he should be."
When the season began, Ramirez batted third, where in 65 games, he batted .259 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs.
But after Ramirez labored, he was switched to the second spot in the order. But in 19 games there, he batted .211 (16-for-76) with one homer and six RBIs.
Ramirez is playing with his right hand wrapped because he received two stitches on a knuckle after punching a cooling fan in the dugout on Sunday in St. Louis.
"I talked to him about it," Guillen said of the punching incident. "I hope he understands I wasn't mad at him, I was upset. I played the game. I coached and managed. People get upset. But every time players get upset and hurt, you don't just hurt yourself, you hurt a lot of people. I hope it don't happen again."