Edwin Rodriguez thought about having Mike Stanton bat sixth. He considered making Gaby Sanchez his leadoff hitter and drop Chris Coghlan into the two spot. He tinkered and re-arranged, coming up with nine new lineups in all. But when all was said and done, the only change that Rodriguez made was flip-flopping his four and five hitters, Jorge Cantu and Dan Uggla.
Rodriguez said it came down to his: just about any new lineup he messed with created a new problem. "There was always one hole that I was missing," he said. Rodriguez said he likes the eight players he has on the field and there wasn't a whole lot he could do to re-arrange those eight players into a dramatically new lineup.
"Pretty much the same," Rodriguez admitted.
Rodriguez said he was "very tempted" to elevate Stanton into the sixth spot, but after giving it careful consideration, decided it was best to have Stanton stay put in the seventh spot.
"I think he's feeling very comfortable hitting seventh and I want to keep him there," the manager said.
As for a one-two combination of Sanchez and Coghlan at the top of the order, Rodriguez said that was the least likely lineup of the nine he toyed with.
"I'd got through a lot of lineups before I'd do that one," he said.
So, without further ado, here's tonight's Marlins lineup as they prepare to take on the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg:
Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, lf; 2. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Dan Uggla, 2b: 5. Jorge Cantu, 3b: 6. Cody Ross, cf; 7. Mike Stanton, rf; 8. Ronny Paulino, c; 9. Ricky Nolasco.
PEP TALK....The Marlins held a brief, closed-door meeting of the pep talk variety before heading out for batting practice. "I think we have the talent to have a way better record," Rodriguez said. Rodriguez said that everyone is keenly aware of the approaching July 31 trade deadline.