Marlins catcher John Baker doesn't need to have surgery on his strained right arm flexor muscle, but will still be out until "mid-August at the earliest" according to manager Fredi Gonzalez.
Baker, who went to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. last week, was told he needs four weeks of rest before being reevaluated. "It's better than getting snipped, cut on you know," Gonzalez said before Tuesday night's game against the Rangers.
That means Ronny Paulino will continue to see the bulk of the heavy lifting behind the plate for Florida. Paulino is fourth among major league catchers with .303 batting average. His 25 RBI rank 12th among backstops.
Baker has been on the disabled list since May 12th. He hit .218 with six RBI in his first 23 games.
NEW ROLE FOR PINTO: Reliever Renyel Pinto, used primarily as a situational left-hander for the Marlins late in games for most of his career, will be now be used primarily as a long reliever according to Gonzalez.
Pinto, who came off the disabled list Monday, was 0-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 15 2/3 innings with eight walks and 16 strikeouts before he strained his hip and groin in a 7-3 loss to the Braves on May 26th.
ONCE A SOCCER STAR: Nobody has been hotter for the Marlins in June than Chris Coghlan, who received a congratulatory hug from special assistant Jeff Conine in the clubhouse before Tuesday's game.
Conine didn't let the hug last long, pretending for a second Coghlan was so hot he was burning him. So far this month, Coghlan is hitting .489 (22 for 45) with four RBI, six walks and 12 Ks.
Of course, had things been different, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year could be in South Africa right now. According to Coghlan, he was quite the soccer star growing up and played the sport until he gave it up at age 13 for baseball and football. He led his AAU team, the Countryside Lightning, to a third place finish in the state at age 13.
"It was my favorite sport growing up," Coghlan said. "I was a forward when I was younger, but I moved to midfielder when I got older because I could kick with both feet. I played center-mid a lot. I was also a place kicker in football. But I don't like thinking of myself as a kicker. I was more of a receiver and safety."
Coghlan claims his longest field goal in a game came from 43 yards. "I could kick it farther. But we didn't kick many field goals," Coghlan said. "We usually went for it on fourth down."