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The "P" Word


  Good morning from Denver, where the weather isn't exactly postcard perfect, but looks better than it did yesterday when it snowed, sleeted, rained -- you name it -- and washed out Friday's game with the Rockies. They'll hook up later this afternoon (5 p.m. back east) for a twinbill. My understanding is that FSN, due to contractual obligations with MLB, will join in progress the first game at 7 p.m. They'll televise the second game in its entirety. Of course, Dave Van Horne and Glenn Geffner will be on the radio airwaves for both games.

    Long day Friday for us scribes, one that started in balmy Houston and ended in snowy Denver. Once the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow late Thursday night, our newspaper leaders issued directives to cover his first press conference in Denver since we were going to be here anyway. That wouldn't have been any big deal, except what was supposed to be a noon press conference didn't get going until 4 p.m. -- Mountain Time! Broncos headquarters is about 30 minutes from Coors Field. So by the time we finished with Tebow and got back to Coors, it was already 5 p.m. and we didn't get to spend a lot of time with manager Fredi Gonzalez and the players.

    The only significant development was yet another lineup demotion for Chris Coghlan, who would own the lowest batting average in the majors among full-time players if not for Mark Teixeira. Well, after seeing that Coghlan wasn't in Friday's lineup, it appears that the "full-time" status might no longer apply to him. Gonzalez said, with a left-hander going for the Rockies, he sat Coghlan. He planned to start the left fielder against right-hander Aaron Cook today. But we received a "we'll see" about his plans for Coghlan when they face another lefty, Jorge De La Rosa, on Sunday.

   Could be what we're really about to see is a platoon -- there's that P word --  with Brett Carroll. Gonzalez keeps saying that Coghlan is "close" to breaking out of his slump, but his swings the last night in Houston looked way out of whack. The Marlins are trying to figure out some way to get him going. They've already removed him from the leadoff spot. Now this. I found this article, which examines the issue of "Sophomore Slumps." Though written in 2004, much of the material is still relevent. But, unless Coghlan gets his act together at the plate, I think we're witnessing one now.

As it stands, look for Gonzalez to stick with Friday's same lineup for the first game of today's DH. That means Carroll taking Coghlan's place in left and Gaby Sanchez sliding up to the two hole in the lineup. In the second, you'll probably see Coghlan return to his spot in left.

 -- Brian Sanches pitched another clean inning in his second rehab outing in as many nights for Single A Jupiter on Friday and appears good to go for a Monday activation from the DL.

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