MIAMI -- The Marlins' biggest threat is back in the cleanup spot.
On Sunday, Giancarlo Stanton was moved up to the fourth spot, after being slotted fifth since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 7.
Carlos Lee had been anchoring cleanup since Stanton underwent surgery to remove two cartilage chips in his right knee on July 8.
Initially, the Marlins were being cautious about how regularly to play their 22-year-old All-Star. He was given periodic days off to avoid adding extra stress to his right knee.
Also, Stanton was producing in a big way in the fifth spot. In his 23 games since returning from the DL, the slugger was batting .310 with 10 home runs and 23 RBIs.
"I don't want him to change anything," hitting coach Eduardo Perez said of batting fourth. "I want him to stay the same. I want him to just play his game, and just realize that his game is exactly what we need. We don't need more, we don't need less. We just need him to be himself."
No matter where he is batting, Stanton remains a threat.
"We've made good pitches to Giancarlo Stanton," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We don't like him when he gets in the batter's box. He still puts the fear of God in you. When he gets his 550 at-bats through a season and stays healthy, there's no telling what kind of numbers he's going to put up."
Stanton entered Sunday riding a seven-game hitting streak.
"I think right now it has been great that he's had Carlos hitting in front of him, to pretty much show him how to lead the way," Perez said.
Moving Stanton up in the order puts him directly behind Jose Reyes, who has been batting third since Miami traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers on July 25.
"He's going to have some speed directly in front of him," Perez said. "He's going to have to go out there and still be aggressive. It's not about allowing Reyes stealing to get to second. He knows that if he hits a double, Reyes will score."
Stanton is one of the most dangerous players in the game. Entering Sunday, he had 29 home runs and 73 RBIs to go with a .290 batting average and a .597 slugging percentage.
Showing what a force he is, consider, since Aug. 7, he had 27 hits, with as many of them being home runs as singles. He had 10 of each. His other seven hits in that span are doubles. So 17 of those 27 hits are for extra bases.
When the season opened, Stanton batted cleanup, and he held the spot for 29 games, belting four homers and driving in 14 runs. His average in the slot was .271.
In 38 games while batting fifth, he was batting .325 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs.
Marlins call up pitchers Jennings, Koehler
MIAMI -- The first wave of callups have arrived in Miami.
Actually, it's just two pitchers. And how many more will follow remains to be seen.
Lefty reliever Dan Jennings was brought up from Triple-A New Orleans, as was right-hander Tom Koehler, who is getting his first big league opportunity.
Jennings was 1-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 42 appearances for the Zephyrs.
Koehler, 26, was a starter at New Orleans. But the right-hander likely will be used in relief.
In 27 starts, Koehler was 12-11 with a 4.17 ERA.
The Marlins may add a couple of position players in the upcoming days. But as of Sunday, it appeared they were not leaning towards calling up third baseman Zack Cox from Double-A Jacksonville. Miami acquired Cox from the Cardinals on July 31 for Edward Mujica.
For Koehler, the promotion was a relief after he was initially told it wasn't going to happen.
When he heard that news on Friday, he was disappointed and began throwing some of his stuff away.
"I got a little frustrated and threw away some of my cleats and stuff," he said. "This was a couple of days ago. I thought the season was over."
But a few hours later, the organization reversed its position.
The last week was difficult for the Zephyrs, who had their season end shortly after the New Orleans area was impacted by Hurricane Isaac.
"A lot of guys were worried about the flooding and everything like that," Koehler said. "It was kind of hard to focus on baseball. When you spend a whole year somewhere, you start to become part of the community and everything. Every time you turn on the news, they're talking about the flooding, or this place is being destroyed."
The Zephyrs' ballpark sustained some damage to the outfield wall and scoreboard. And the National Guard used the ballpark as a base to assist storm victims.
"It kind of puts things into perspective a little bit," Koehler said. "This game is important, but what these people are going through is a lot worse than my 26-hour travel day."
Petersen trying to show Marlins he belongs
MIAMI -- For many Marlins, September is a critical month for a number of players as the organization evaluates which direction they should go in 2013.
Bryan Petersen is trying to take advantage of the opportunity.
The 26-year-old outfielder has been getting chances to lead off and show what he can do at the top of the order.
"Being in the leadoff position now and getting some consistent at-bats up there, my job is to get on for the guys behind me and things like that," Petersen said.
In 15 games batting first, the left-handed-hitting outfielder is 14-for-65 (.215) and he's scored seven runs.
"I think I've been doing an OK job with that, but a little more consistency would be nice," Petersen said. "Just stay positive and have fun.
"Personally, I would say, 'Continue the course.' I feel like I've had some good luck and bad luck this year. Just trying to take good at-bats and not really worry about what other people would think of me or what's going on. Just taking every day like it's a gift and going out there playing and having fun and playing for that one common goal -- to get a W."
Miami's front office will be observing the energy level of the entire team in these final few weeks.
"September is just like any other month," Petersen said. "The season's kind of been up and down and sideways I guess, but finishing strong is a good goal. I think more along the lines of just the team being able to create momentum going into next year.
"A lot of people would say the season's over, but the season's never over. Every day you come out, you have a game. You've got an opportunity. One, to get better, two, to grow as a team and just to win and create that camaraderie with the team."