Outfielder Coghlan taking grounders at third
Marlins having hottest hitter make transition to hot corner to keep bat in lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- The Marlins may have found their third baseman of the future. He is the same player who has seen steady action the past few weeks in center field.
Chris Coghlan, who broke in with the organization as an infielder, is close to going through a transition to third base.
Coghlan, who entered Tuesday batting .390 (23-for-59) since May 18, is in the process of taking ground balls at third base. Most likely, he won't start playing games there until after the Marlins' road trip is completed.
Manager Mike Redmond and infield coach Perry Hill discussed the idea, and Coghlan, who played third base at the University of Mississippi and in the Minor Leagues, welcomed the opportunity.
"I know he's up for that," Redmond said. "Looking down the road, we want to keep his bat in that lineup, and that could be a spot where we could get him some at-bats."
Coghlan, who started in center field on Tuesday, took ground balls at third during batting practice.
"They know I'm game for whatever," said Coghlan, who has switched positions on several occasions in recent years.
In 2009, Coghlan played third and second base at Triple-A New Orleans until a couple of days before he was called up in May to the Marlins. He played one game in left field at New Orleans, and he was in the big leagues the next day.
Coghlan was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2009, and he played left field in all but one game. He's also played center field and a little bit of right in the Majors.
Coghlan has never played third base in the big leagues.
"I don't mind, because ever since I've been here, it's been like that," he said. "If this was the first time, I'd probably freak."
Switching Coghlan isn't the only move the Marlins are considering.
Rookie Marcell Ozuna is likely to see time in center field and left field in anticipation of Giancarlo Stanton coming off the disabled list.
"We've got some flexibility in there, and now is the time to start moving some guys around and preparing for these guys' arrivals," Redmond said.
McKeon undergoes successful surgery
PHILADELPHIA -- Jack McKeon is resting comfortably at a North Carolina hospital after undergoing successful double bypass surgery on Monday.
McKeon, 82, formerly managed the Marlins and remains a special assistant in the organization.
"Everything went well, and he's recovering," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
During a recent checkup, it was detected that McKeon had blockage in a couple of arteries. Initially, surgery was scheduled for last Thursday, but it was postponed a few days because another patient was in need of more immediate attention.
McKeon has been upbeat throughout the process, and he is expected to need about a month of recovery.
During his stay at the hospital, McKeon has been following the Marlins.
Even on Tuesday morning, he woke up and immediately asked how the Marlins did on Monday night.
"All of us who have been around Jack are relieved that the surgery was successful and he's doing well," Redmond said. "We wish him a speedy recovery. He's such a great guy. We miss Jack and can't wait to get him back."
McKeon is hopeful to be down in Miami to see the Marlins before the All-Star break.
First rehab game for Stanton, maybe last for Eovaldi
PHILADELPHIA -- The Marlins may be close to getting their most feared offensive weapon back.
Giancarlo Stanton began playing in rehab-assignment games Tuesday for Class A Jupiter.
The 23-year-old has been on the disabled list since April 30 with a strained right hamstring.
Jupiter played a doubleheader on Tuesday, and Stanton started in right field in the first game, going 0-for-3 before leaving in the sixth. The outfielder did not start the nightcap.
The Marlins are hopeful Stanton and first baseman Logan Morrison, who is playing in rehab-assignment games at Double-A Jacksonville, will return sometime in another week or so.
"These guys are going to be a big boost and energy lift for us," manager Mike Redmond said. "In Spring Training, we talked about having a team together, and we haven't even come close to having that team together the whole year."
The rotation also could be getting a lift as Nathan Eovaldi could be back in a week.
Eovaldi, recovering from right shoulder inflammation, made his third rehab start -- and first for Jacksonville -- on Tuesday night. Eovaldi gave up three runs in the first inning before settling down and finishing with four runs allowed in 4 2/3 innings
Barring a setback, Eovaldi's next start could be with the Marlins.