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Maybin moves into leadoff spot (updated)

PHILADELPHIA -- An interesting change has been made at the top of the Marlins lineup before Sunday's game against the Phillies. 

Struggling Chris Coghlan, hitting a mere .119 this season (5 for 42), has been flip-flopped with Cameron Maybin, the Marlins' usual No. 2 hitter. Maybin has gotten off to a good start. He's hitting .294 with 13 runs scored. 

"Maybin has been getting on base," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Maybe we'll be able to use his speed stealing bases in the No. 1 spot. If he gets on, Coghlan may be able to use that hole as an advantage... maybe this weill get him going, hit and running, that kind of stuff."

Gonzalez said the change could last "more than one day." But until Coghlan breaks out of his funk, it's going to be hard to put him back at the top of the lineup.

"For me the No. 1 thing when guys go bad, slump, they're swinging at bad pitches," Gonzalez said. "You see Coghlan swinging at balls up. He usually takes them. You see guys open the strike zone up and trying to handle pitches they really can't handle and chase pitches. But the first pitch he hit [Saturday was right on the button.

"He's close. The only thing he needs now is a couple broken bat singles, get the monkey off [his] back psychology wise."

Coghlan was 6 for 42 in his first 14 games last year before hitting .338 over his final 114 and winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

Maybin said Saturday he likes hitting leadoff. His numbers aren't bad. He's a career .304 hitter in the top spot. "Whenever I hit leadoff, I tend to be a little more patient, kind of make guys work," Maybin said. "I think that's a big part of being a lead off hitter, making guys throw pitches so the guys behind you can see what they're doing. 

"Honestly, [hitting first or second] is one of those things where I don't really have a preference. I just like hitting at the top and getting on for Hanley [Ramirez], Jorge [Cantu] and Dan [Uggla] all the guys who can drive me in."

> Catcher Ronny Paulino was scratched from Sunday's lineup with a tight right quadriceps.

> Relief pitcher Chris Leroux got the autographed baseball he was hoping to get from Roy Halladay Sunday morning. Leroux, who grew up in Toronto and as a huge Blue Jays fan, said his mom made a special request to get it. 

"He didn't personalize it," Leroux said. "But I'm still pretty sure my mom is going to love it. I'm not sure where she's going to put it. She might sleep with it."

> The Marlins will be off Monday before opening a three-game series in Houston. It will be a sweet homecoming for relief pitcher Clay Hensley in more ways than one. 

For one, Hensley was cut by the Astros last year before the Marlins picked him up and he revived his career in Triple A New Orleans. The other reason? Henlsey hasn't since his wife and first born son, Quinn, in more than a month in a half. Quinn was born on Feb. 28, two days before Hensley had to report to Jupiter for spring training.

"I spent a day with him and had to leave," Hensley said. My wife has kept me up to date by sending me pictures. He's laughing and smiling now. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing him again."

MARLINS LINEUP (UPDATED): 1. Cameron Maybin CF; 2. Chris Coghlan LF; 3. Hanley Ramirez SS; 4. Jorge Cantu 1B; 5. Dan Uggla 2B; 6. Cody Ross RF; 8. Gaby Sanchez 1B; 9. Nate Robertson P.

Comments

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Tony Alvarez

It's about time they try this. To me, this is the most logical use of these two players - Maybin leading off and Coghlan batting second. It provides a righty, lefty, righty scenario at the top of the line up and will likely result in Coghlan seeing much better pitches. Maybin has more speed than, well, anyone alive and therefore is better suited to leading off. I predict this change will produce positive results and will become the norm going forward.

bokajay

in the long run this a great move.. only problem is going to be if Coghlan continues to not get on base.. it will reduce Cantu's RBI opportunities. I'd think about putting Baker batting 2nd again against righties and Coghlan down in the line-up until he is out of this funk.

Alwaysteal

The MARLINS win!! Thhhheeeee MARLINS win

Orlando A. Blanco

Mr. Loria, : Please sent Freddy
Gonzales to the minors. Hinself lost the last game to Saint Diego.
And besided He still dosen't knows how to produce crucial runs, like last inning in tie games.; The pichers still gaving runners free tickets while on the bases. No one can bunt. etc. etc.

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