17 June 2011
Some good news for the first time in a while for Marlins ace Josh Johnson came across the wire today. Josh, who is on the 60-day DL now and is eligible to return on July 16, threw a 20-pitch bullpen session today. For Johnson this was the first time that he had thrown off a mound since going on to the DL. He threw only fastballs and changeups, and while he did not have his normal velocity this was still a very encouraging first big step back to returning to the Marlins rotation. Johnson is scheduled to pitch another bullpen session on Sunday.
As good of news is that was on Josh Johnson, the big news of the day was Edwin Rodriguez's decision to send Chris Coghlan down to Triple-A New Orleans. Edwin, who has coached Coghlan in both the Majors and the Minors said that Chris has just not looked like the same player out there as of late. The 2009 NL Rookie of the Year has seen his batting average drop from .301 on April 25 to only .230 on July 16, and his on base percentage drop from .359 to .296 in that same stretch. While it was a decision that no one in the Marlins Organization took lightly, it may be the best decision for Coghlan. He had been dealing with several injuries this year coming back from left knee injury suffered last season and he has also been getting treatment for a sore right shoulder for the majority of this season. The Marlins had given him days off and saw his numbers continue to fall, and putting him on the bench in favor of Emilio Bonifacio at center would not be good for either Coghlan or the Marlins in the long term. Chris Coghlan is still part of the core that should carry the Marlins over the next few years, so far now he just is going down to the Minors to rediscover his swing.
The Marlins have chosen to bring up Dewayne Wise to replace Coghlan, and he is in the starting lineup Friday night. To free up room on the 40-man roster for Wise the Marlins had to place LHP Dustin Richardson, who the Marlins got in the Andrew Miller trade with the Red Sox this offseason, for assignment. Wise played great for the Marlins during Spring Training, and would have been the Marlins 4th outfielder at the start of the season had he not gotten a bruised left big toe or the Marlins had room for him on their 40-man roster. Wise had been in the Blue Jays Minor league organization till he recently opted out and signed with the Marlins. Wise had actually only played two game in New Orleans before getting this call up. Wise could split time with Emilio Bonifctio in center field while Coghlan finds his swing in New Orleans. If Wise plays well, don't be surprised if Wise stays in the Majors and Cousins gets sent back down when Coghlan is ready to rejoin the Marlins.
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