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Where is Chris Coghlan?


In light of the past injuries to Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison, Emilio Bonifacio, and Justin Ruggiano it remains that Chris Coghlan’s status with the Marlins is a mystery.  Despite the fact that Coghlan, the former Rookie of the Year, struggled earlier this season in the Majors, he is currently thriving at Triple A New Orleans.  Batting .361 in his last 10 games and .296 overall, Coghlan is making regular contact and is hitting the ball hard which was a skill he lacked in his appearance with Marlins this season.

Based off of his success in the minors it appears that Coghlan has regained his Rookie of the Year form. Yet, he was kept in New Orleans in favor of Bryan Peterson, Gorkys Hernandez and Austin Kearns. While these three outfielders have potential to have a role as the 4th outfielder on a major league roster, neither of them have shown any indication of being a long-term solution. In the past Coghlan has served as the Marlin’s primary offensive catalyst and leadoff hitter. He has experienced a high level of success, as a former rookie of the year, unmatched by these other players at the respective stages of their careers. Being that Coghlan has been limited by injuries over the course of multiple seasons and seems healthy, it would appear appropriate that he be given priority at bats at the Major League Level over Peterson, Hernandez and Kearns. Being under control for multiple years into the future, it would make sense to give Coghlan every opportunity to earn a starting job for next season. Outfielders such as Kearns have no service to the team for the long term .With the team going nowhere this season, it would benefit the Marlins the most to provide Chris Coghlan a starting job for the remainder of the season to determine his future role in the Marlins organization.

While this merely speculation oddly enough Chris Coghlan, now earning the Major League minimum salary, is arbitration eligible for the first time next season. This means that if he would accrue enough Major League service time, he would be due for a significant raise. While it remains to seen whether Coghlan has enough service time to actually qualify it is no secret that he has spent a critical amount of time in the Minors over the past two seasons. As such by not being called up, it is possible that he would not be eligible for arbitration. There is a chance Miami is not giving him a legitimate opportunity to pay him the minimum for next season, as well as to keep him under control for an additional year.  It is also possible that the Marlins, having dealt a significant amount of salary, are planning to reinvest it in the free agent market this winter to address the outfield. Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn and the inconsistent BJ Upton are potential targets. Yet this should not be a threat to Coghlan playing for the remainder of this season. Chris Coghlan, who is cheap and controllable for several more seasons, has demonstrated his talent as Rookie of the Year and has reemerged in New Orleans. While this may be a moot point with the return of Stanton and Ruggiano, Coghlan has the potential to be a long term answer in the outfield. Yet it appears that he is not on the Major League roster for financial reasons. If this truly is the case I, among many other fans will be most disappointed that the team is truly shooting itself in the foot by refusing to give Coghlan a chance.