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Chris Coghlan Gets a Shot As a Utility Man

Tom FroemmingCorrespondent IMay 9, 2009

Chris Coghlan is going to have to learn on the job.

Florida Marlins starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez was sent to the DL with a shoulder injury, and instead of calling up a pitcher, Florida will roll with an 11-man pitching staff and look to Coghlan to provide a spark.

The 23-year-old is a natural second baseman who also has experience at third base, but he is going to see time in left field. The last time he played in the outfield on a regular basis?

He was 12.

According to the Miami Herald, Cameron Maybin will be the big loser in the move. Maybin, who has been the primary center fielder for the Marlins, is hitting just .202. On days Coghlan plays left, Jeremy Hermida will move to right and either Cody Ross or Alfredo Amezaga will play center.

Coghlan, Florida's No. 9 prospect according to Baseball America, was hitting .344 with three home runs, nine steals, 22 RBI and 21 runs in 25 games at New Orleans, which marked his first stint in Triple-A.

The former first-round pick hit .298 with seven homers, 34 stolen bases, 74 RBI and 83 runs last year in Double-A. Most impressively, he posted more walks (67) than strikeouts (65) to go with a on-base percentage a shade below .400.

Coghlan made his Major League debut last night, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a run while playing second base. Though he shows impressive plate discipline for a hitter his age, it's likely he won't stick with the Marlins this time. He could use more seasoning in the minors and doesn't have a regular long-term spot in the field right now.

*From Protect the Plate

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