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Another Setback for Chris Coghlan

      JUPITER -- Chris Coghlan is headed to the minors, but not as a demotion. Due to continuing inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder, the Marlins have decided to have Coghlan play in minor league games for the time being until the swelling and soreness subsides.

      The question now becomes, will Coghlan be ready for Opening Day? He says he will, and manager Edwin Rodriguez echoed that sentiment. On the other hand, Coghlan said he doesn't know what to expect since he's never experienced arm or shoulder issues at any time previously in his baseball career.

       The only good news for Coghlan and the Marlins is that a recent MRI showed no structural damage to the rotator cuff, site of the problem. But Coghlan might not be ready to appear in a big-league game for a week, if not longer. There's even a chance, if the problem persists, that he opens the season on the disabled list.

       Coghlan attributed the shoulder inflammation from lack of use over the winter when he was allowing his surgically repaired left knee to heal. The knee is fine now, he says. Coghlan even legged out a triple on Wednesday. But he said he didn't throw over the winter, and when he tried to compensate by throwing rigorously at the start of spring training, he experienced soreness.

         "What I probably should have done is shut it down quicker, and not allow it to get to the point where it's taken a week, two weeks to get better," Coghlan said of his shoulder. "What happened was I couldn't get my arm in shape because of my knee. After Thanksgiving is when I (usually) start throwing."

        When he started throwing in mid-February at the start of spring training, Coghlan had gone nearly seven months without throwing a baseball.

         By playing in minor league games, Coghlan's throwing will be restricted to shorter throws. He said he'll still be able to throw to second base, for example, just "not anything to let go."

         "What Edwin (Rodriguez) was hoping, but it's not looking good so far, is that he wanted all three of us (Coghlan, Mike Stanton and Logan Morrison) to play together," Coghlan said. "That's something he wanted."

         Now, Coghlan said, the three might not appear in the same outfield for the first time until Opening Day on April 1. 

         "It could be better in a week, I have no idea," Coghlan said.

         Said Rodriguez: "We want him to be ready to go on Opening Day. I think he should be all right for Opening Day."

         Rodriguez said all three outfielders could be good to go for the final week of spring training.


         When Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante and Gaby Sanchez didn't see their names on Thursday's original lineup card, they told Rodriguez they wanted to play. So the manager made up a new lineup, one that included those three regulars.

         "The regular players came in, like Hanley and Infante and Gaby, they said they all wanted to play at least five innings," Rodriguez said. "I said 'Fine.' It was my decision not to put them in the lineup in the first place. But they said they want to get in more of the rhythm of the game. I like that."