Marlins' Chris Coghlan Optioned to Triple-A

June 12, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins left fielder Chris Coghlan (8) is tagged out by Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) during the seventh inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

A few days ago, I discussed Chris Coghlan and how he was continuing to ride the coattails of his 2009 Rookie of the Year season. But it seems after hitting just .140/.212/.183 to start the season, even that was not going to be enough to keep him in the majors for now. As originally reported by Fish Stripes' scootertum in the Fish Cap for tonight's 10-2 defeat, the Miami Marlins have optioned Coghlan to Triple-A New Orleans once again.

After finishing a rough 1-8 homestand, the Marlins decided to make a personnel change, as outfielder Chris Coghlan was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans following Wednesday's 10-2 loss to the Red Sox at Marlins Park.

Coghlan, who didn't start on Wednesday, is hitting .140 in 93 at-bats. He had been in an 0-for-16 slump since collecting two hits in Philadelphia on June 3.

Coghlan's approach did improve this season, and it showed in terms of his strikeout and walk rates at least. There is something at the plate to be built, but when you struggle this badly and you have options available for players who could perform better in the minors, there is no reason for the Marlins to keep Coghlan aboard. Until he shows he can make decent contact on balls, it just means he has hit more balls lightly on the ground, as evidenced by his 64 percent ground ball rate and 14 percent line drive rate.

The Mariins have not yet announced their replacement to call up in this case, but they will do so before the opening game of a nine-game road trip starting up in Tampa Bay. Bryan Petersen has not spent ten days in the minors just yet and also struggled while up in the bigs, so the Marlins could turn to lefty Scott Cousins. The 27 year-old "prospect" is hitting .295/.358/.477 and has always had raw power, but his approach at the plate remains unpolished; he has an 8.8 percent walk rate along with a 21.9 percent strikeout rate that will not fare well against major league pitching. Still, Cousins is yet another tweener outfielder like Petersen who deserves at least a shot at a fourth outfielder role in the majors.

The team also has not decided its replacement in center field. Emilio Bonifacio is still likely a month away from returning from thumb surgery, and both Coghlan and Petersen have struggled at the plate. Ozzie Guillen has hinted that Justin Ruggiano, who has hit .400/.478/.900 in 24 PA with the Fish so far, may see more playing time since he has played so well. It may be worth a look for Ruggiano, who has been a career minor leaguer with possible tools and talent but holes in his swing as well.

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