Chris Coghlan will start tonight's game on the Marlins bench with a .132 batting average and a sore left side, the result of his sensational 11th inning catch on Tuesday. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Coghlan is sitting because of the injury, not because of his hitting slump, and expects him to be back in the lineup as early as Thursday.
"He kind of landed a little awkward on his side," Gonzalez said of Coghlan, who made a diving catch on the warning track to rob the Reds' Orlando Cabrera. "I didn't have the lineup up until late, waiting for him (to arrive to the ballpark on Wednesday). He goes, 'Well, I'm glad you took it out of my hands because I'm pretty sore.' The last at bat, a couple of swings he took, he kind of grimaced. He landed pretty hard out there on the warning track."
With Coghlan out, Gonzalez shuffled his lineup. Brett Carroll was reinstated from the disabled list, will start in left field and bat eighth. Cameron Maybin will lead off. To create room for Carroll, the Marlins optioned Emilio Bonifacio to Triple A New Orleans.
"He needs to play," Gonzalez said of Bonifacio, who had been limited to only three plate appearances through the first eight games. "It can't be good vfor a young player to sit around the dugout and get three at bats."
Carroll, who landed on the DL toward the end of spring training with an oblique strain, provides the Marlins with a natural outfielder, something that Bonifacio wasn't. The Marlins also made two other moves, calling up right-handed reliever Chris Leroux from New Orleans and designating reliever Jose Veras for assignment.
"If this wasn't game (nine) I'm sure I'd be out there playing," Coghlan said of his injury, which is located on his left side below his ribs. "(Gonzalez) just told me I should take a day and we'll evaluate it tomorrow. You don't want to come out. It's a bummer whenever you kind of get banged up a little bit and stay out of the game. You want to be out there competing with the guys."
Coghlan said he doesn't not consider the day off a "mental break" from his hitting woes. Coghlan, the National League Rookie of the Year last season and the league's sixth leading hitter with a .321 average, is off to a terrible start at the plate. His .132 average is sixth-lowest in the majors among players with at least 30 at bats and his .175 on-base percentage ranks lowest in the majors among regulars. Last season, Coghlan had the second-highest on-base percentage among all major league leadoff hitters.
"I feel fine mentally," Coghlan said. "It's game (nine). I don't know how many times I've got to say that. I guess until I start doing well, then I won't have to answer that question."
Coghlan, who said he impacted the rubber warning track pretty hard when he made the catch, planned to have the injury examined by a doctor later on Wednesday.
"I'm surprised I didn't just stick," Coghlan said. "But I went all the way to the fence. It burns. I burned my arm."
Marlins: 1. Cameron Maybin, cf; 2. John Baker, c; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 3b; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Cody Ross, rf; 7. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 8. Brett Carroll, lf; 9. Chris Volstad, p.
Reds: 1. Chris Dickerson, cf; 2. Paul Janish, ss; 3. Joey Votto, 1b; 4. Brandon Phillips, 2b; 5. Scott Rolen, 3b; 6. Jay Bruce, rf; 7. Jonny Gomes, lf; 8. Ramon Hernandez, c; 9. Homer Bailey, p.