NEW YORK -- Logan Morrison was all smiles Sunday morning sitting in the Marlins dugout.
The 25-year old first baseman, who is trying to battle back from two surgeries on his right knee over the past year and a half, was happy to be back with his teammates and in a major league lineup for the first time since last July 28. Is his knee finally 100 percent?
"I don't think it's 100 percent, but it's pretty close," said Morrison, who spent all of spring training walking in an anti-gravity suit on a treadmill before finally beginning a 16-game rehab assignment last month. "I'm happy with it. Hopefully I can stay away from walls and the adrenaline doesn't get the best of me.
"When I first started sliding on it, it bothered. But the last couple days sliding on it hasn't bothered it."
After learning mid-game Saturday in Birmingham he was flying up to New York to join the Marlins Sunday, the always easy going Morrison said he sent a text message to manager Mike Redmond during the 20-inning game saying 'I guess I'm flying to New York to pitch.'
Morrison hit just .179 with two homers, 10 RBI, six walks and four strikeouts over 56 at-bats during his time in Single A Jupiter and Double A Jacksonville. But he's confident his hitting stroke will eventually come back. "It's what I do," he said. "It will come back."
What does he hope to bring a team that has a 17-44 record, worst in the majors?
"I don't have any secrets for them. I don't have any cure-alls," he said. "It's just going to be about going out and competing. Turn it around a little bit. Just because we're young doesn't mean we're not good. We have all the talent in the world. Play like you know you're going to succeed. Call it cocky, call it arrogant, fine. When you go into second base and a guy hits into a ground ball double play let him feel you. If he turns that one, he's not going to turn the second one. That's how you've got to play. That's how I play."
DISAPPOINTED COGHLAN HEADS TO DISABLED LIST
The last thing Chris Coghlan wanted just as he was beginning to turn his career around was another trip to the disabled list. But that's where the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year is headed after losing his three-week battle with numbness in his right calf.
"My muscle is not firing. It hurts. It feels like a real tight feeling that I can't push," said Coghlan, who is supposed to undergo an MRI on Monday. "The DL sucks. I've been waiting a year and a half for this opportunity I got, so that sucks even more. It's disappointing. I'm frustrated, but at the end of the day I did what I could do. I grinded through it, and this is what's just in the cards for me. I've got to turn the page, be positive and do whatever I can do to get back here as soon as possible."
A pinch-hitter and reserve for the first month and a half of the season, Coghlan found his way into the starting lineup on May 18th and hit .343 with a homer and 9 RBI over his last 18 games. With a crowded outfield full of young prospects, the Marlins have talked about moving him to third base. It's a possibility that's where he'll be when he returns.
STANTON COULD BE BACK MONDAY
> All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, rehabbing in Single A Jupiter and trying to come back from a Grade 2 hamstring strain, text messaged Redmond and trainer Sean Cunningham Saturday to tell him he's ready to go.
Although he's gone hitless in the four rehab games he's played in -- including a double header Saturday -- Redmond said just having Stanton back in the lineup will be huge. It's likely the Marlins will send first baseman Casey Kotchman, 0-for-20 this season at the plate, to the disabled list on Monday with a strained oblique to make room for Stanton on the roster.
"It's a great presence to have in our lineup," Redmond said. "Even if he takes, he's going to walk. If he's ready to go, he's ready to go."
> Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi was scheduled to make his fourth and final rehab start in Double A Jacksonville Sunday.
> Redmond said right-hander Henderson Alvarez, who threw a 55 pitch simulated game Saturday, will likely begin his rehab stint next week.
> Second baseman Donovan Solano, whose gone 6-for-10 with an RBI in three rehab game starts down in Jupiter, is available to return this week. But the Marlins haven't decided yet what they're going to do.
"Solano's available," Redmond said. "But we still have to evaluate where he's at. We got a lot of guys that are close and we've talked about having some decisions to make. We have to sit down and figure out where these guys are at. We knew we would be getting guys back. Of course it all works out you get them all back the same week. It's a good situation. We're getting the lineup we thought we'd have when we left in spring training back. That's good."
> Saturday hero Kevin Slowey, who pitched seven scoreless innings of relief, will now pitch on Wednesday. He was scheduled to make his next start on Tuesday, but Redmond has moved right-hander Jacob Turner up a day and flip-flopped their spots to allow Slowey to gain an extra day of rest.