July 26, 2016

MIAMI (AP) Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon will be eligible for reinstatement from his 80-game suspension on Thursday prior to Miami's game against St. Louis.

Gordon, last year's National League batting champ, was suspended for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy.

He will be looking to help the Marlins (53-46) make a postseason push although he will not be eligible to participate as part of his violation.

''We're going to blend him back in for sure,'' Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. ''We feel like we're capable of getting into the playoffs and if we get to the playoffs he can't play so it's kind of a balancing act of trying to get in and what do you do when you get there?''

Derek Dietrich has been the Marlins' everyday second baseman filling in for Gordon and has hit .275 with 15 doubles, four home runs, and 30 RBIs.

''Dietrich has been very good for us in different areas and we will kind of go back to our original plan of using Dietrich all over the place, but not being able to throw him in there every day,'' Mattingly said.

Gordon hit .266 with five RBIs in 21 games before the suspension. He hit .333 with eight triples and a league-high 58 stolen bases last season, his first with the Marlins.

''Obviously Dee's an exciting player and he can do a lot of things to generate runs almost on his own,'' Mattingly said. ''He can be even more of a lightning rod for us.''

Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Dietrich, J.T. Realmuto, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Miguel Rojas have taken their turns filling for Gordon in the lead-off spot.

''They've did a nice job of holding down the fort,'' Mattingly said. ''It will be nice to get Dee back and get that guy where you have continuity in your lineup where guys know where they're going to be.''

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