It hasn't been the 2013 season that Miami Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano had hoped for.
Prior to the start of the year, it appeared as if Solano would be Miami's starting second baseman after having success at the plate and being solid defensively. However, because of an injury that landed him on the disabled list and led to the promotion of rookie infielder Derek Dietrich, Solano wasn't initially on the field consistently.
Following the demotion of Dietrich as a result of a lack of offense and his reinstatement from the disabled list, Solano has since thrived at the plate. Despite the fact that during and after the departure of former hitting coach Tino Martinez the Marlins were struggling offensively, Solano has continued to thrive at the plate.
Since July 30, Solano has been among the most consistent Marlins with runners in scoring position, hitting .480 and having driven in 15 runs with runners in scoring position over that span. In an interview with MLB.com, he credited his success to "not trying to do too much" in those situations.
"I'm focused more on staying relaxed [in those situations]," Solano said. "I don't try to do too much. If you get a base hit, [that's great]. If you don't get a base hit, that's OK. It's baseball."
Solano's success with runners in scoring position shows how versatile of a player he is. Manager Mike Redmond hasn't found a defined spot in the lineup for Solano, who is one of many Marlins to hit second throughout the 2013 campaign.
Redmond believes that Solano is the "right type of hitter" to have at the plate in a possible run scoring situation.
"I think he's a contact guy anyway," Redmond said. "Some guys seem to have more of a knack for [hitting with] runners in scoring position, and I think a guy like him who can kind of inside-out balls, hit the ball to right [and] pull balls, that definitely helps."
In 80 games, Solano has posted a .306 on-base percentage and has driven in 27 runs. If Dietrich continues to struggle to get his average up in the minor leagues, Solano will likely be Miami's opening day second baseman come 2014.
Redmond also appreciates Solano's relaxed approach at the plate, and feels other players in the lineup could feed off of his success.
"I think the biggest thing is he doesn't try to do too much," Redmond said. "He just takes a pitch and drives the ball. And when you talk about being successful with runners in scoring position, you've got to get a pitch you can hit and really just put the ball in play, and he's been able to do that.
Solano's numbers have been consistent, as he posted 28 RBIs in 93 games last season. He enjoys hitting being in a position where he has the opportunity to drive in a run, and could become a key part of Miami's lineup if he can remain healthy.
"Any at-bat when somebody's on second or third base, [I want to] get a base hit," Solano said. "We're trying to help the team win in any situation."
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