JUPITER -- No major surprise here as the Marlins have reassigned slumping third baseman Matt Dominguez -- along with four others -- to the minors.
Dominguez's bat (.190 -- 7 for 48 -- this spring) cost him a spot on the Opening Day roster, and now the Marlins will begin looking at other options for third base, both inside the organization and out.
"We all knew that we were asking a lot for the kid," manager Edwin Rodriguez said of Dominguez. "We told him the truth. We all know he has the ability to play in the big leagues at some point, but it's not going to happen right now. We thought that he was pressing a little bit, and he was taking his offense to the field, and that's not him."
"It'll be Donnie Murphy and Emilio Bonifacio getting most of the playing time at third base," Rodriguez said. "I would like to play Murphy a little bit more there because we still waiting to see on Chris Coghlan (in center). We really believe he should be ready. That way I can keep Boni in the outfield. We want to get the answer at third base. We have to look for answers -- combinations -- in the infield, so we have one more week to go."
Either way -- with Murphy or Bonifacio -- there is not a lot of third base experience. Murphy has played just 29 games (21 starts) at the position in the majors. Bonifacio, who was the Marlins' Opening Day third baseman in 2009, has played 92 games there (86 starts) at the big-league level.
One option is NOT Omar Infante. Rodriguez said Infante would "stay at second base." Rodridguez also said he would prefer to use Wes Helms and, if he makes the club, Greg Dobbs off the bench.
Outside, keep an eye on Pedro Feliz, who is in Royals camp -- at the moment. Other names that are floating around out there: Felipe Lopez, Eric Chavez and Garrett Atkins, along with the much pricier option: Michael Young.
Also reassigned to the minors: infielders Ruben Gotay and Joe Thurston, rhp Frank Mata and OF Josh Kroeger. The roster is now down to 32 players.
Dominguez is headed to Triple A New Orleans.
The Marlins could decide to weather it internally, using a patchwork of the in-house third basemen and hope that Dominguez re-discovers his bat in the minors for an early-season call-up. But my guess is they'll go outside to add an everyday third baseman.
NOTES: Mike Stanton is starting in right and batting fourth today for the Marlins. It marks his first Grapefruit League appearance this spring.
Today's LIneup: 1. Bonifacio, cf; 2. Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Stanton, rf; 5. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 6. Logan Morrison, lf; 7. John Buck, c, 8. Murphy, 3b; 9. Javier Vazquez, p.
Boston Red Sox: 1. Jacoby Ellsbury, cf; 2. Jed Lowrie, ss; 3. David Ortiz, dh; 4. Kevin Youkilis, 3b; 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c; 6. Mike Cameron, rf; 7. Ryan Kalish, lf; 8. Drew Sutton, 1b; Nate Spears, 2b. Pitching: Clay Buchholz.