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Fredi Gonzalez Envisions Cameron Maybin as Marlins' No. 2 Hitter

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez won't get to keep everyone guessing in spring training about his Opening Day starter, as Josh Johnson put that issue to rest last month by putting his signature on a four-year contract. Here's one more question that was answered Saturday during FanFest festivities at Sun Life Stadium: barring some unforseen development, Cameron Maybin will be the Marlins' No. 2 hitter, sandwiched between NL Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan and NL MVP runner-up Hanley Ramirez.

"Awesome," was how Maybin described the news, which Gonzalez revealed during a question and answer period with fans. "I like it. That's where I feel comfortable hitting, near the top of the order."

 Gonzalez used 10 different players in the two hole last season. This year, he's hoping Maybin stays there from day one.

  "Right now, Maybin is the guy you want to do that," Gonzalez said of the second spot in the order. "In a perfect world, I'd like to give him an opportunity to bat in that spot."

  Maybin isn't complaining, and how could he? He'll be situated between the NL batting champion in Ramirez, who hit .342, and Coghlan, who finished sixth with a .321 average.

  "I want to get him in a spot where he'll get more pitches to hit," Gonzalez said.

  Last season, Maybin struggled when Gonzalez put him in the eighth spot, ahead of the pitcher. Maybin hit just .205 when batting eighth. But he did much better in the second spot, batting .316 with a .361 on-base percentage.

  Look for Gonzalez to go with a lineup that looks like this: 1. Coghlan, lf; 2. Maybin, cf; 3. Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 3b; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Cody Ross, rf; 7. John Baker/Ronny Paulino, c; 8. Gaby Sanchez/Logan Morrison, 1b: 9. Pitcher