Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves: Three stories to watch

Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Can he shake off the rust?

When the Miami Marlins lost Justin Bour to an ankle injury last year, it was against these Atlanta Braves. He was on an offensive tear at the time, raising his average into the .270’s, and showing every sign of making a breakout.

Unfortunately, the breakout ended with that DL trip. He was a shell of himself when he returned, failing to homer for the remainder of the season, and pretty much failing to hit in general.

This time, the hot streak was longer, and the breakout more dramatic. If Bour can make a strong return this time, fans will forget he was ever hurt in the first place.

This could be the start of a really exciting stretch for this ballclub. If not, they should probably start having JT Riddle take some grounders at first base.

Beyond the rust shaking, it will be worth watching to see just how healthy Bour is. How he runs, and how his innings are managed. These first few games back will tell us quite a bit. Is he officially activated tonight, and if he is, does he start? Does he start all three games? More to the point, does he play two games in a row?

There’s a fine line between prudence and propping up, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for which one Don Mattingly does with his first baseman.