ESPN's Matt Myers' major complaint is that Chris Coghlan was never fast enough to play centerfield.
Here is the link to story:
You won't be able to read it unless you are an Insider. If you are not, which I suspect most aren't, don't bother clicking on the link. But it being so, I have to be delicate with my quote boxes.
Mr. Myers worries about the Marlins playing Coghlan at centerfield. I do too. Coghlan isn't the greatest instinctive outfielder but he tries hard and that may count for something as the season progresses.
Anyway, back to the crux of the matter.
Mr. Myers has this to say:
...he was trained as an infielder, isn't that fast (career 18-for-26 basestealer) and had his 2010 season cut short to undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee,...
I'm worried about his mobility also, but using steal data as a proxy for speed concerns me a lot. Oh sure, people do that all the time and on average, it may work. However, not in this case.
Actually, during the time he was healthy, Chris was pretty fast. Just not a good baserunner.
An example I know to be true: If you made Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio run a straight line sprint, Biggio would win every time. However, if you timed them in a first to home competition, Bagwell would win every time. Speed, alone, doesn't translate into being better at stealing bases or running them.
Same with playing the outfield. I have no doubt if you had a sprint between Cody Ross and Coghlan, before he was injured, Chris would have won. Does that mean Coghlan would be better in center than Cody? Of course not. Cody may have been the best defensive centerfielder the Marlins have fielded since FishStripes has existed. Cody broke quickly, in the correct direction, off the hit of the bat. When you know what you are doing, speed helps, but isn't vital.
The strange thing to me was how Mr. Meyers kept harping on speed.
Samuel and Gant were both excellent basestealers and possessed a raw speed that Coghlan lacks.
...(and wasn't that fast to begin with)...
Really, he was. The reason I used the past tense is because, I don't know if he still is.
Mr. Meyers needs to watch a Marlins game every now and then.