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Luis Gonzalez to see more playing time

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Luis Gonzalez may see more playing time down the stretch.

Despite going 0-for-5 and popping out with the tying run on base in the ninth inning Wednesday, veteran outfielder Luis Gonzalez could see his name in the starting lineup more often during the rest of the season.

"I'm going to try to find a way to get him in the lineup a little more often. That's a good bat in the lineup," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Luis Gonzalez would spell right fielder Jeremy Hermida (.231 in August) or left fielder Josh Willingham (.219).

If you just look at the numbers in August which is almost about halfway through the month, you get:

Gonzo has played in 8 games with 18 AB, 2 BB, and 1 K.  He is hitting during that time period .333/.400/.556.

Hermida has played in 11 games with 39 AB, 8 BB, and 17 K.  Hitting .231/.311/.231.  In other words, all hits have been singles.

Willingham has played in 11 games with 41 AB, 3 BB, and 10 K.  Hitting .195/.244/.293.

I'm not exactly sure where the author of the article came up with Willingham hitting for a .219 BA in August, I guess our statisticians differ, but no matter.

It is true that Gonzo makes more contact with the ball than either Hermida or Willingham and that has been true for all of the second half of the season, not just August.

But there are a couple of things to take into consideration when playing Gonzalez.  One: when he plays a lot of days in-a-row, his production normally decreases and almost at an exponential level.  Two: his arm in the outfield is pretty poor.

On the second point, he roams the outfield pretty well when it comes to catching the ball, he just can't throw.  Never could.  As opposed to Hermida who at times looks lost when trying to chase down a fly ball, but every now and then makes a pretty decent throw into the infield.

Neither Willingham or Hermida are hitting right now and Gonzo is, last night's game aside, but I don't think he is a long term (long term being till the end of the season) answer.  But he could be a decent band-aid in the short term.

Normally I don't like sitting young players for any extended period of time when they are in a slump -- you can't breakout of a slump sitting on the bench.  However, the Fish are quickly getting to the part of the season where they can't wait for a player to free himself from the clutches of a slump and must go with the option that is producing, if one is available.

If the game is a must win for the Marlins down the line, look for Gonzo to be in the lineup somewhere, i.e. against a division or wild card contender.  If not, the standard lineup should be in place.