The Miami Marlins, at 62-56, are eight-and-a-half games back of the Nationals (70-47) in the NL East and have virtually no chance of winning the division. But they’re also in a dead heat with the St. Louis Cardinals (62-56) for the NL’s second Wild Card spot.

With Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins had a solid chance of making the postseason. Without him, it’s going to be an uphill climb.

“Huge problem on power,” WQAM afternoon co-host Marc Hochman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Without (Justin) Bour in the lineup, although he’ll be back, and without Stanton, they got a huge power problem. I don’t know how they’re going to fix that. They’re competing hard for a Wild Card, but how can they make the playoffs without Giancarlo Stanton?”

Stanton (groin) hit .244 with team-highs in homers (25) and RBIs (70) in 103 games this season.

“If you look at his numbers, his numbers don’t look that great,” Hochman said. “But he was mired in this five-week mega-slump, the likes of which most superstars will never see. So the numbers aren’t true numbers. I don’t know. I have a difficult time because even if his batting average wasn’t that great, every time he came to the plate, you had a guy with the potential home run, and that can change the entire approach from a pitcher.

“So I’m nervous,” Hochman continued. “Ichiro is not even an everyday player, really, and now you got a 42-year-old guy who’s being forced into everyday player duty. It’s rough right now now because it’s a really good season for the Marlins, but I’m having a difficult time being a buyer on them making it into the Wild Card.”

That is unless, of course, Alex Rodriguez comes to the rescue. The Yankees released the 41-year-old this past weekend, leaving him with 696 career homers. The Marlins need power, and Rodriguez wants at-bats – even though his spokesman said A-Rod won’t be returning this season.

“I believe that he is genuine – or the publicist is genuine – when they say he has no plans to play,” Hochman said. “I think coming off Friday night at Yankee Stadium, unbelievably emotional – and he’s gone through A-Fraud. If he does that Friday night with the Yankees and the tearful send-off, and then Monday he says he’s signing with the Miami Marlins, there comes the A-Fraud thing – like how could we believe any of the emotion that transpired on Friday? So I think he lets this sit and simmer. I think he’s genuine right now in not wanting to play for another team. I think he really believes that. I think two or three weeks from now, when Miami is still in the playoff hunt and they really need power and Jeffrey Loria and Barry Bonds and Don Mattingly are appealing to A-Rod (and saying), ‘Hey, we need you, Miami loves you and what a great way to end your career,’ I think there will be a lot of tug on him to reconsider. And as a Marlins fan, I’m hoping he does. I hope he plays for the Marlins.”


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