WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 03: Emilio Bonifacio #1 of the Miami Marlins is helped off the field in the ninth inning during a game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. He returns from the DL Sunday. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
The Miami Marlins made two moves to bolster their major league squad following tonight's 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Fish brought back Emilio Bonifacio and Donnie Murphy from the DL and optioned Scott Cousins to Triple-A to make room. The team also designated Gil Velazquez, who had filled in at third base in the last two games, for assignment. Here's Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post with the confirmation.
— joe capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) August 19, 2012
#Marlins moves: Scott Cousins opt. to NOLA, Gil Velazquez designated for assignment. Emilio Bonifacio & Donnie Murphy to be reinst from DL
Remember, the Marlins had initially feared Bonifacio would be out for the season with his thumb injury that happened on a diving stop of a ground ball late in a win over the Washington Nationals. After looking things over the days following the injury, it turned out Bonifacio was not at risk to lose the rest of the season.
Manager Ozzie Guillen plans on returning Bonifacio strictly as a center fielder, however, in part to help him avoid the thumb problems.
"Right now, we're leaning for him to be back in the outfield for a lot of reasons," Guillen said. "We're going to try to prevent injuries from now on. When he heals completely, we might change our mind and move him back to second base. The idea right now is to get him some at-bats and help us a little more, I think less risk is going to be in the outfield."
The foremost concern for Bonifacio, who has turned (for better or for worse) into an important piece in the Marlins' lineup puzzle, is that he stay healthy for the rest of 2012. From what Guillen said, it does not sound as though the Fish are precluding moving Bonifacio back into the infield, where he initially started but has looked less capable in the past. It would behoove the Marlins to move Bonifacio into the infield for 2013 just because the depth in this upcoming free agent class is in the outfield, especially in center field. It would be a mistake for the Marlins to leave second base empty by leaving Bonifacio in center next year and not exploring an outfielder option.
But with Bonifacio's thumb health a concern, the move by Guillen makes sense, and it will be good just to see him back in the lineup. Yes, that does feel weird to say.