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2 posts from June 4, 2013

June 04, 2013

Marlins to work Coghlan at 3B, Ozuna in CF; McKeon recovering from successful heart bypass surgery

PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Redmond hasn't really had the chance to manage the team he thought he would have this season. But nearly 60 games in it appears he's getting a lot closer to it. 

With All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton playing in his first rehab games Tuesday in Jupiter, first baseman Logan Morrison nearing the end of his rehab stint in Triple A New Orleans (it ends June 8th) and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi scheduled to make his third rehab start in Double A Jacksonville Tuesday, it's becoming more and more likely the Marlins could have as many as three huge pieces back on the team sometime next week when they return home from their current road trip.

In anticipation of those arrivals, Redmond said the Marlins will be working Chris Coghlan  at third base and rookie Marcell Ozuna in center and left. Coghlan, who has been red-hot at the plate, posting a .390 batting average with eight RBI since being inserted into the lineup on May 18th, said Tuesday he's been taking grounders in the infeld all season with infield coach Perry Hill before games and during batting practice in anticipation of a possible switch.

"Looking down the road we want to try to keep [Coghlan's] bat in there -- somewhere in that lineup," Redmond said. "That could be a spot where we could get him some at-bats. We're going to start working on that and then possibly moving Ozuna into a center lit bit, taking some fly balls in center and left for when Stanton gets here. We want to have some flexibility there. Now is the time to start moving guys around and preparing for these guys' arrival."

Coghlan hasn't played third base regularly since 2009 when he was in New Orleans, but said Tuesday the hot corner has always been his natural position. He played third for three seasons at Ole Miss and then his first year of rookie ball before the Marlins moved him to second. It wasn't until he got called up to the big leagues that Coghlan became an outfielder. Coghlan spent this past winter playing second base in the Dominican.

"I've played it longer than any other position by far," Coghlan said of third base. "Honestly I look at it only as a value. I saw what [Alfredo] Amezaga did, what [Emilio] Bonifacio did. You're just thinking you can help the team when you can play different spots. That's kind of how I envision myself -- to play wherever to get my bat in the lineup."

Ozuna has said in the past he has no problem playing center field and believes he has the speed to do it. He certainly has the arm. 

As for his bat, Coghlan said the change in his swing is simply "biomechanical."

"By the naked eye you wouldn't be able to tell," Coghlan said. "But anybody who sees slow motion film they would be able to tell. It's basically being ready to hit and smash a pitch every time. I'm slugging the baseball. My mindset is different."

MCKEON RECOVERING

Former World Series-winning manager Jack McKeon, 82, had successful heart bypass surgery on Monday and is recovering in the hospital.

"From what I've heard his surgery went well. It was a long day for him yesterday and the family," Redmond said. "All of us who have been around Jack are relieved his surgery was successful and that he's doing well. We just hope and wish him a speedy recovery. He's such a great guy. We miss Jack and can't wait for him to get back."

> How much time will Stanton need in rehab? "I don't know how many games it's going to take for him to feel like he can come up and play," Redmond said. "I'm hoping two."

Stanton reportedly will DH in rehab game today in Jupiter; Mock draft has Marlins taking outfielder

According to the Jupiter Hammerheads' team website, Marlins All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton will play in his first rehab game tonight since going on the disabled list April 30th with a strained right hamstring.

He is expected to DH and bat third in game one of a double-header against the Clearwater Threshers at 5:05 p.m.

First baseman Joe Mahoney and second baseman Donovan Solano are also playing for the Hammerheads.

Mahoney was placed on the disabled list April 28 with a strained hamstring. He is expected to play first base and bat cleanup in game one. In five games (19 at-bats) on assignment with Jupiter this season, Mahoney is batting .368 with one home run and one double. He hasn't played in a minor league game since May 21.

Solano has been out since May 6 with a strained left intercostal muscle. He is expected to bat second and play second base for the Hammerheads. This will be Solano's first rehab action as well.

OLMOS IMPRESSIVE

It wasn't exactly the pressure of having to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning, but when Edgar Olmos made his major league debut in the sixth inning Monday night for the Marlins it wasn't exactly an easy spot either.

"Like I said we were going to ease him right into the game -- bases loaded with Ryan Howard," joked Marlins manager Mike Redmond following Monday's 7-2 loss. "That's how we like to do it with the Fish, ease them right into the game."

Olmos didn't disappoint, forcing Howard into an inning-ending ground out. He came out for the seventh and gave up a lead off single to the red-hot Domonic Brown. But the 23-year old left-hander quickly worked himself out of trouble when he got Delmon Young to bounce into a double play. Olmos then got Erik Kratz, who homered earlier in the game, to fly out to right.

"I thought he looked great," Redmond said. "That's a pretty good fastball. Easily 97 [miles per hour] it looked like. The scouting reports on him and what I've heard from guys is he's got a power arm. And he definitely showed that. I thought he handled that situation very well and was very composed. He did a nice job getting through that."

MOCK DRAFTS HAVE MARLINS TAKING OUTFIELDER

If you ask the experts the Marlins are going to end up taking an outfielder from Georgia when they make the sixth overall pick during Thursday's MLB Draft.

ESPN's Keith Law has Miami taking five-tool center field prospect Austin Meadows (6-3, 200) from Grayson High in Loganville, Ga.

Baseball America's draft experts have the Marlins taking Clint Frazier, a 6-1, 190-pound outfielder out of Loganville High. Frazier has explosive bat speed and project as more of a corner outfielder.