One of the best stories of the 2009 Marlins season was how left fielder Chris Coghlan basically came out of nowhere to become one of the best rookie hitters baseball has ever seen.
Coghlan led the majors with 47 hits in the month of September and won the NL Rookie of the Year award after finishing the season with a .321 average.
But in the Marlins first six games this season, Coghlan is hitting a mere .185 with five singles in 27 at-bats. More concerning, perhaps, are his nine strikeouts to just one walk. So, is Coghlan headed toward a sophomore slump? Manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Sunday's win over the Dodgers he isn't worried one bit about Coghlan because he has a history of slow starts.
Gonzalez is right. Coghlan started his rookie season with the Marlins 6 for 42 (.143 average) with four runs, 11 strikeouts and seven walks in his first 15 games. It wasn't until after May 23rd, that Coghlan found his stroke. By the end of June, Coghlan was hitting .262 with a .362 on base percentage.
Coghlan said Friday one thing pitchers are doing differently with him this year is that "they're nibbling more."
"I think that's something that over time when you prove you can hit, they're going to nibble, they're going to see if you're going to get yourself out," Coghlan said. "I've gotten myself out a couple times so far. That's the adjustment I need to make."
MARLINS LINEUP FOR GAME 1 VS. REDS: 1. Chris Coghlan LF; 2. Cameron Maybin CF; 3. Hanley Ramirez SS; 4. Jorge Cantu 3B; 5. Dan Uggla 2B; 6. John Baker C; 7. Cody Ross RF; 8. Gaby Sanchez 1B; 9. Ricky Nolasco P.