Nobody ever came out and said it, but it would be safe to assume Chris Coghlan was in extreme danger not so long ago of becoming the odd man out in the outfield when Mike Stanton made his way up from the minors to join the Marlins -- a move that should occur in the coming week.
Coghlan had not only gone hitless (0 for 14) in the Chicago White Sox series, but was a bad 0 for 5 -- striking out three times -- in the series finale at U.S. Cellular Field.
But look what's happened since. Coghlan has hit in every game but one (Roy Halladay's perfect game) and raised his average from .210 to a much healthier looking .249. He has gone 16 for 40 (.400)since Chicago and collected 10 hits in the just-completed four-game series with the Brewers. After he went two for three with a walk in Thursday's 3-2 win by the Marlins, manager Fredi Gonzalez said Coghlan is finally starting to resemble last season's Rookie of the Year.
"I hope so," Gonzalez said. "I don't know if I've seen him yet, but I sure hope so."
It's worth noting that Coghlan started slowly last season before catching fire late, especially the final couple of months. At the 51-game mark for him last season, he was hitting just .257 -- only eight points higher than he is now at the same juncture. His on-base percentage was much higher at that point than it is now (.359 to .300). But he is hitting and, with Stanton looming closer on the horizon, just in the nick of time.