May 6, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis (20) watches the game from the dugout during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

Bus Rides and Plane Tickets

Mar 10, 2012; Jupiter, FL. USA; Miami Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano (73) prepares to tag out St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tyler Greene (27) on a stolen base attempt at Roger Dean Stadium. The Marlins defeated the Cardinals 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE


Larry Beinfest has been a busy man.  In the last couple of days, he’s been acting like a travel agent, sending plane tickets to Chris Coghlan (again) and Donovan Solano. While he was at it, he put a red tag in Gaby Sanchez’s locker, along with a Greyhound bus schedule. However, Gaby probably has a return ticket via first-class air in the near future. What do these moves mean for the Marlins?  What are the choices and opportunities for the Marlins as the trade deadline looms?

By sending Gaby down, the Fish lost one of the five non-pitchers on the 25-man roster hitting below the Mendoza Line. That leaves John Buck, Bryan Peterson, Chris Coghlan, and Donnie Murphy as the holders of less-than-distinguished sub-.200 averages. While it’s only likely to be for a few games, the player at the top of the hitting heap, Omar Infante (.326), has a few days off to go home to Venezuela to spend some time with his family on the passing of his grandfather.

Against expectations and against probability, the Marlins continue to play well, taking two of three from the Indians during interleague play. Outstanding pitching is still keeping the press conferences happy.

So, the upshot over the weekend is that Infante and his bat are gone for a few days. Cogs and his yo-yo performance are back up, along with Donovan Solano. Gaby Sanchez is headed to New Orleans to work the kinks out of his swing. Finally, Emilio Bonifacio landed on the DL following a thumb sprain picked up on a dive back to the bag.

Chris Coghlan is a known quantity at the big-league level, and he’s up to plug a hole in the outfield.  With a slash line of 105/128/132, he’s not exactly a hot prospect, but he brings plenty of big-league experience to the table, at least until Bonifacio’s thumb heals. Although he was Rookie of the Year in 2009, Coghlan’s sophomore slump is getting a little long in the tooth. The Marlins do have a potential 5-tool superstar playing in Jupiter right now.  If 20-year-old Christian Yelich continues to perform the way he has been, we might see him move up to AAA to get some innings in anticipation of a big-league callup to play left field.

Logan Morrison has moved to first with the designation of Gaby to the Zephyrs. First base is Morrison’s primary position, having spent his minor-league career at position three.  However, all is not roses, as he still struggles to get to 100% with his knee.  Greg Dobbs will rotate in when LoMo takes a day off.

Columbian native Donovan Solano will most likely be filling in for Omar Infante during his absence. Solano was the last player cut from the 25-man roster this spring, and was manager Ozzie Guillen’s toughest cut to make.  He hasn’t kept up with his .429 average from this spring, but he’s a singles hitter, which is what the Marlins need more than anything right now.

John Buck is another player with one foot on a banana peel. His better-than-OK defensive skills are keeping him up right now, but his near-total lack of offense is making Brett Hayes look better and better. It’s tough to think about getting rid of a catcher who can gun down runners at second from his knees, but the Marlins need base hits and run support, and they need it soon.

The season just passed the first quarter mark, and the trade deadline is around ten weeks away. There are some big holes in the Marlins’ bats right now, so Beinfest is probably studying slash lines instead of ERAs and win/loss/save stats. Fortunately, the Marlins are in high cotton with its pitching staff. So…who might be available that can really stroke the ball?  I think that with the clubhouse meltdown that appears to be continuing in Boston, Kevin Youkilis just might get hung out as trade bait. From our side of the table, John Buck might be an option, as might Scott Cousins or Donnie Murphy. The Bosox really wanted Giancarlo Stanton last year, but my guess is that the sun would rise in the west before that happens. Other players that might be interesting are Toronto’s Adam Lind, ex-Red Edgar Renteria, if he can be coaxed out of retirement, and (though it’s a stretch) Torii Hunter, depending on how he works out his family issues with the Angels.

Tags: Brett Hayes Bryan Peterson Chris Coghlan Christian Yelich Donnie Murphy Donovan Solano Edgar Renteria Emilio Bonifacio Gaby Sanchez Giancarlo Stanton Greg Dobbs John Buck Kevin Youkilis Logan Morrison Omar Infante Scott Cousins Torii Hunter

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