Reporting Tim Kephart
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JUPITER, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The Miami Marlins had high hopes for center fielder Chris Coghlan this time last year. He was just two years removed from being the NL Rookie of the Year, but struggled last year and may not even make the team this season.
Coghlan, 26, knows he is not guaranteed a roster spot. Utility man Emilio Bonifacio is expected to take over the starting center fielder position, which Coghlan once played. For Coghlan, it’s been quite a fall from where he once was.
As a rookie, Coghlan hit .321, but then the injury bug hit. He tore the meniscus in his left knee in 2010 during a post-game celebration.
He had knee surgery and missed the rest of the 2010 season. Then Coghlan battled injuries during last spring training and only appeared in 65 games.
“Obviously, situations have changed since I’ve been injured the last two years,” Coghlan told MLB.com. “But that’s up to the front office, my mindset doesn’t change. I feel like I will come in and prove to be a starter, whether I have a job to lose or I have to get a job. That’s my intention — to go out there and show that I’m healthy.”
Coghlan’s knee is said to be more stable and he had a scope of it in November 2011. The Fish will monitor his activity in the outfield to prevent him from standing around too much during spring training.
But for Coghlan, he said he knows he can play at this level and said the main thing he has to do this year is “prove that I’m healthy.”
If he can prove it; the Marlins will have another quality bat for manager Ozzie Guillen to play with during the 2012 season. If not, Coghlan will be looking for work in just a few weeks.