CHICAGO -- Chris Coghlan looked like a natural on Tuesday in what was his first major league game at third base, fielding a ball off the leg of pitcher Tom Koehler before making a diving stop to save a run on a hard one-hopper by the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo.
"I had a blast," Coghlan said. "I felt like I was in college again. It was fun."
The former Rookie of the Year not only returned to the starting lineup for the first time since early June when an injury landed him on the disabled list, but led off for the Marlins and made his first major league appearance at third base since his days in the minors, before the Marlins turned him into an outfielder.
"For me, it was an excited feeling to go out there," Coghlan said. "Not like a scared feeling. (It was) just like you make your debut. You're not scared to hit, but you're excited. Once you make that first at bat or first play, it's like, 'Ah, this is just like riding a bike.'"
Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he would continue to use Coghlan at third, as well as the outfield.
"Going into it, we didn't really know what to expect," Redmond said. "And I know it's only one game. But it's the time of year for us...we have a chance to get to see some guys at different positions and see what we have, and see what might work for next year. And to have him be able to be an option at third base, that's big. We'll keep plugging him in there and see how he does."
Coghlan said he appreciated the chance to return to the infield.
"I'm just grateful they gave me an opportunity to not only play, but play third," he said. "Hopefully they continue to have more trust and let me play there. This has been a long road for me. It was a lot of work to get to where I was."