In Logan Morrison, the Miami Marlins believed they had the ideal first baseman of the future. Though it is hard to fault the Marlins because injuries are difficult to predict, Miami has lacked a healthy first baseman for several seasons after Morrison has had several knee operations and struggled to play following the first of the two.
Acknowledging the fact the Morrison wouldn't be ready to begin the season and likely would not be eligible to come off of the 60-day disabled list until early June, the Marlins brought a couple of first baseman into spring camp. One of them, Joe Mahoney, got off to a good start until he, like Morrison, got injured and had to be placed on the disabled list.
Casey Kotchman, a former Atlanta Brave and veteran first baseman who has won several gold gloves, had a good spring and was the squad's opening day first baseman.
Kotchman pulled his hamstring trying to beat a throw to first on a double play ground ball during the team's first series against the Washington Nationals, and has become the most recent Marlins first baseman to have to be placed on the DL. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and hopes to be healthy and ready to play again in a few weeks.
Kotchman's injury has just continued a trend that has followed the team over the past few seasons. Either their first baseman are hurt or they struggle offensively.
The squad's most recent moves make a 2012 trade that involved a first baseman questionable. The team sent first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Pittsburgh in exchange for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, who the Marlins just designated for assignment after he didn't make the big league team.
Sanchez played first base for several seasons while Morrison played in left field. Sanchez carried an inconsistent bat, though his defense was sufficient enough to earn him a spot on the Pirates' roster as the starting first baseman.
Greg Dobbs has been recently playing the position, though having him in the starting lineup takes a late game left-handed hitting option away from Mike Redmond's bench.
Miami refused to bring Carlos Lee, who they traded for last season, back for another year, and as a result are looking to fielders who have never played the position (Miguel Olivo, Chris Coghlan, Chris Valaika) for a possible solution until Kotchman and Morrison return.