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Chris Coghlan in center field would be risky move for Marlins

Nov 18, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

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Dan Uggla turning down a four-year, $48 million contract extension led to Florida trading him to Atlanta, but after the swap the Marlins also talked about how the move allows them to improve defensively.

Uggla consistently ranked among the worst defensive second basemen in baseball, so replacing him with Omar Infante is a clear upgrade. However, the Marlins stated plan of using Chris Coghlan in center field could erase any defensive gains made in the infield.

Coghlan has never played an inning in center field as a professional, in the minors or majors, and has been exclusively a left fielder in two seasons with the Marlins. Ultimate Zone Rating pegs him as eight runs below average in 213 games as a left fielder and other defensive metrics are similarly underwhelmed with his glove.

Toss in the fact that he missed the final six weeks of the season following knee surgery that he’s still recovering from and … well, Coghlan in center field just seems like a bad idea even if Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said, “We feel good about Coghlan out there.”

  1. Old Gator - Nov 18, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    It is a bad idea. He was primarily an infielder in the minors, and a second baseman at that. Typically, the Feesh’s trade logic was driven by their being bunch of tightwads rather than by any really sharp strategic considerations. Salary dumps manufacture their own logic. They gave Uggla away for a utility second baseman when they had Coghlan already and haven’t had a third baseman who could throw accurately to the first baseman most of the time in three years or more.

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