« Stanton reportedly will DH in rehab game today in Jupiter; Mock draft has Marlins taking outfielder | Main | Closer frustrations continue for Cishek; Mayberry Jr. robbed Pierre of heroics »

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."


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."