Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Yesterday, David detailed the early struggles of Emilio Bonifacio and Cameron Maybin. This morning he left a comment that linked a Joe Frisaro blog post about Chris Coghlan. I thought it might be good to expand on all the possibilites that the Marlins could do, if guys like Bonifacio and Maybin continue to struggle. For now, I will focus on Bonifacio and the 3B job.
David mentioned that Alfredo Amezaga could be a candidate. On first thought, he seems like a perfect replacement. He is very similar to Emilio and can hit leadoff. It would be a simple move that would seeminlgy require no additional moves in the batting order or in the field. But, like David and many others have said, Amezaga has never really shown to be a great everyday player. He has always been best used as a reserve and getting a couple starts a week.
Now to Chris Coghlan. I love this guy. I hadn't seen much of him until this spring training, but was always impressed with his numbers and always heard he's a pretty good defensive player. Problem is, he plays 2B and Dan Uggla is blocking him at the major league level. Frisaro reports he has played some 3B in the minors but if he were to come up, I'd still say it's a tough position change and you never know what kind of results you will get. He could slide into the leadoff spot if necessary, but since he is regarded as one of our better positional prospects, I'd guess they wouldn't throw him to the fire like that.
Another interesting scenario could be moving Jorge Cantu back to 3B. This would open up 1B where remember Gaby Sanchez was the favorite to start during Spring Training. He had a bad spring that included an injury, but he is doing very well in AAA and it might warrant him finally getting his opportunity. The downside to this move could be two-fold. One, the defense would suffer, as Cantu has been better at 1B and Sanchez isn't the greatest of defenders. Two, we would be replacing a leadoff hitter with a middle/bottom of the lineup guy and we'd have to juggle the lineup and perhaps use a nontraditional leadoff hitter (Hermida?).
Now to a complex scenario, bare with me. I've had a sneaking suspicion since the offseason that Dan Uggla will not be on the team in 2010 (translation: traded during this coming offseason, or before the trade deadline during the season). I could explain my reasoning, but I'll leave that for another day. If Uggla were to be traded, say for relief pitching help, his 2B spot could be filled simply by placing Chris Coghlan there. Or, if you like a crazy musical chairs infield, Bonifacio could move back to his natural position (2B) and then you could fill 3B in any of the options already talked about. It'd be very bold, but this organization has shown they don't mind doing the unorthodox, plus it would seem to fit into their philosophy of better defense and on-base percentage, less errors and strikeouts at the plate. Problem is though, Uggla has to be tradeable, and his sub .200% batting average makes him a difficult sell. He needs to get hot and boost his numbers before teams will be offering deals.
There are a lot of options. I do believe Beinfest when he says they are preaching patience, but one must wonder if the team is in real contention in June and July whether patience will be abandoned for a gamble on different young players. We saw first hand how great it can work in 2003.