MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton's return to the Marlins may be in question, but the right fielder is eager to get back on the field.
Stanton, on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain, is pressing on in rehab despite knee soreness. Manager Mike Redmond said the right fielder will soon add shagging fly balls to a daily routine that already includes batting practice, playing catch and light running.
"I know he wants to play," Redmond said. "I know he's been frustrated being down for so long. He knows how important he is to our lineup, to us getting this thing turned around. He's doing everything he can do right now."
Stanton went on the DL on April 30 with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. The offense has labored in his absence.
The Marlins have batted .223 with only 15 home runs in 28 games since Stanton went down. Stanton alone homered 12 times in 29 games last May.
Rookie Marcell Ozuna -- Stanton's replacement in right field -- has been one of few bright spots for Miami. Ozuna brought a 15-game hitting streak into Friday night's game against the Mets at Marlins Park.
Ozuna's streak is the longest active streak in the Majors and tied with Chuck Carr for the second-longest hitting streak by a Marlins rookie in franchise history.
Despite the lineup's offensive woes, Miami does not want to rush the slugger's return. Redmond said the team will wait until Stanton decides he is ready to return to game action.
"He's got to feel that he's 100 percent and that he can go out there and be able to play for the long haul," Redmond said. "We want him to feel good enough where he can go out there and play for the rest of the year."
HOFer Dawson subbing for McKeon at Draft
MIAMI -- Hall of Famer Andre Dawson is set to pinch-hit for the Marlins at the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Dawson, a special assistant in the organization, will be replacing Jack McKeon as one of Miami's two representatives for the first day of the Draft, which will take place on June 6 at the MLB Network studios in New Jersey.
McKeon, the former Marlins manager, is in his eighth season as a Marlins special assistant. But the 82-year-old is undergoing heart bypass surgery on Monday.
Initially, the long-time manager was set to be at the Draft, but he is expected to take it easy for about a month after his procedure.
In Dawson, the Marlins will have another high-profile name to be on hand when the club picks sixth overall in the first round. He joins Bill Beck, the club's former director of team travel.
Dawson notes how the Draft has evolved since he was an 11th-round pick of the Montreal Expos in 1975.
"It's a production now," Dawson said. "I guess all of the sports are like that the first day. The production part of it is the first day. It's entertaining, especially for the individuals who are going to get drafted on Day 1. It gives the organization a day to get a lot of recognition, because everybody is highly anticipating who you are going to take in the first round."
The day Dawson learned he was drafted, he was at a two-player workout. Dawson was being evaluated along with Clint Hurdle, then a prep phenom who was the ninth overall pick of the Royals in 1975.
Hurdle now manages the Pirates.
"I got a call telling me I got drafted in the 11th round," Dawson said. "I was in a tryout with Clint Hurdle. He was a top prospect of high school kids expected to go high in the Draft."
Marlins pay tribute to late Barger with plaque
MIAMI -- The Marlins on Friday unveiled a commemorative bronze plaque in honor of the franchise's first president and chief operating officer, the late Carl Barger.
The plaque is on display inside the Home Plate Entrance of Marlins Park, and it recognizes the man who was instrumental in launching the first six months of the organization.
The Marlins hired Barger on July 8, 1992, three days after MLB awarded South Florida the franchise. Barger passed away on Dec. 9, 1992, during the Winter Meetings.
"Carl Barger played an integral role in developing this franchise during its infancy, and setting it on a course to a World Series championship in just five years," Marlins president David Samson said. "Marlins Park would not be complete without a tribute to Carl and all that he did for the Marlins."
As an organization, the Marlins dedicated their inaugural 1993 season to Barger. Prior to joining the Marlins, Barger also served as the president of the Pirates from 1987-91.
Redmond, Pierre among those thinking of McKeon
MIAMI -- A couple of Jack McKeon's former players are offering their thoughts and prayers to the 82-year-old baseball icon who is scheduled to have heart bypass surgery on Monday.
McKeon, a Marlins special assistant, is in good spirits in a North Carolina hospital as he prepares for his procedure.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond and outfielder Juan Pierre played for McKeon, and they were part of the 2003 World Series title team.
"I just told him I was thinking about him, and I was praying for him, and I hope everything goes well," said Redmond, who spoke with McKeon a few days ago. "I'm sure everything will be fine.
"Jack is such a big part of my life. He's touched so many guys in this game. You look at Jack, and you think of this guy as invincible."
Pierre was the catalyst of the '03 Marlins, leading off and playing center field.
"He's the ageless wonder," Pierre said. "You're used to seeing him walking around with that cigar, every day. He never seemed to get old. Hopefully, it's something that isn't too serious, and he will be back to his old self."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.