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Marlins/Mets in Port St. Lucie; 2012 Opening Day Outfield Preview?, John Baker Hurt, New 3B Coach for Fish, Etc.

    PORT ST. LUCIE -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez's lineup for this afternoon's game against the Metropolitans has a distinctly futuristic look to it, with Chris Coghlan leading off and playing left, Cameron Maybin in the two hole and playing center, and Mike Stanton batting third and playing right.

    Might that be the Marlins' Opening Day outfield when they move into their new ballpark in 2012?

    "Hopefully," said Stanton, one of baseball's top prospects. "Maybe sooner. Maybe later."

    Said Coghlan of a possible 2012 outfield that includes himself Maybin and Stanton: "We all hope we're still here. We hope Cody is still here. But I wouldn't be able to say I envision because it's tough to say."

    Gonzalez said Stanton will be a middle-of-the-lineup hitter in the majors, but likely not at first.

   "I think he's a middle of the lineup type hitter from what his numbers are," Gonzalez said. "(But) it's tough to come from the minor leagues and stick him right in the third and fourth hole. But, eventually, I think that's where he'll end up."

    So Friday's Coghlan-Maybin-Stanton 1-2-3 combo might not be the same as the 2012 Opening Day top three. After all, the Marlins do have a pretty good No. 3 hitter at the moment: Hanley Ramirez.

    Here's the entire Marlins lineup for today's game at Tradition Field:

    1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Cameron Maybin, cf; 3. Mike Stanton, rf; 4. Jorge Cantu, 3b; 5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 6. Brett Hayes, c; 7. Danny Richar, 2b; 8. Emilio Bonifacio, ss; 9. Chris Volstad, p.


    John Baker didn't make the trip up to Port St. Lucie because of what Gonzalez described as "tenderness in his throwing arm."

    Gonzalez said it's nothing serious, but that "I didn't want to take a risk. It's only the second day of spring training."

    Gonzalez said he would give Baker a couple of days off to help alleviate the pain. Brett Hayes will start in Baker's place against the Mets.


Gonzalez, who served as a third base coach for the Marlins and Braves, offered Joe Espada, the Marlins' new third base coach, a few words of wisdom about the job.

"I told him that he's going to be disappointed at third base, because my first experience I thought everybody in the major leagues had '80' arms, everybody could throw like (Vladimir) Guerrero, and that wasn't the case," Gonzalez said. "Not every outfielder can throw."

In other words, Gonzalez was telling Espada not to be too timid about sending runners.

"You're going to find on every team, one guy that scares the living (daylights) out of you," Gonzalez said. "For me, it was (Bobby) Abreu."

    Gonzalez said Rich Donnelly had the best line about being the third base coach.

"What did Rich Donnelly call it, like you're an air traffic controller? You can have 400,000 good landings and one screws up and your name's in the headlines the next day."