This whole offseason was built around the idea of upgrading your defense. But Matt Dominguez clearly needs more seasoning, and now your best defender is going to be spending his spring on Bourbon Street. So what now for the Florida Marlins? It’s looking like Emilio Bonifacio is reemerging as an everyday starter in your lineup. Here’s the kicker. Omar Infante is not going to move to 3rd base. Edwin Rodriguez is leaving him at second so he can stay familiar with his new double play partner Hanley Ramirez. Edwin is very likeable but this decision leaves questions. To start off Emilio Bonifacio was a disaster at 3rd base in 2009. Bonifacio committed 14 errors with on 213 chances that season for a cool .934 Fielding percentage at third base. Granted that was Emilio’s first season at the hot corner base but he is clearly more comfortable playing up the middle. The hesitation to move Omar Infante is strange. His versatility was a strength that the front office was raving about when they acquired him for Dan Uggla. He is universally accepted as a better defender at third than at second and it’s not like Infante isn’t used to moving around. He spent time at 6 different positions for Atlanta.
This is also about putting Bonifacio in the best position to succeed. Emilio came up the system as a middle infielder and has shown to nice flashes when playing 2nd base and short stop. If the plan all along was to become better defensively why are two guys on the infield going to play out of position when they don’t have to? If you are willing to sacrifice defense at this point then the Marlins should bring Coghlan back to the infield. I know scouts have seen better hands on a main course at Red Lobster, but at least Coghlan can make up for it with his bat. Not only would a transition from the outfield to 2nd base for be easier on his surgically repaired knee, it would be easier on his arm which has been battling tendinitis all spring. What’s the worst that Coghlan can give you, Dan Uggla Defense? At least he can hit and get on base. This also allows you to give a guy like Dewayne Wise a chance to play center field. Wise in center not only upgrades you automatically defensively. It will help out an inexperienced Logan Morrison who’s still getting his legs in left field. Keeping Omar Infante at 2nd base for comfort not only seems like lazy thinking, but it makes your team worse when it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully the Marlins go back to the drawing board one more time before writing down that opening day lineup.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Tobin
Life long Marlins fan who's had the privilege of covering the team the last 2 seasons for Sports Talk 790 The Ticket in Miami, FL.