When it became obvious that throwing was becoming an issue, Chris Coghlan and the Marlins decided something had to be done.
Florida opted to send Coghlan to play in Minor League games on Thursday, for at least a little while, as he recovers from rotator cuff inflammation and tendinitis in his right shoulder.
The ailment now makes it questionable for Coghlan to be ready for Opening Night, when the Marlins face the Mets on April 1 at Sun Life Stadium.For now, however, the Marlins remain hopeful that Coghlan will be ready in two weeks."We're shooting for Opening Day," said manager Edwin Rodriguez. "We want him to be ready to go on Opening Day. Hopefully, it will get better. We have to look at all the possibilities, but I think he should be alright for Opening Day. That's why we have to make this decision to send him to the Minor League games."
In recent days, it was becoming evident that throwing was becoming a problem.
Coghlan added that he couldn't continue playing center field in Grapefruit League games without being at full strength.
"We're going to be able to play the outfield down there," Coghlan said. "I can still play the field, but I told [Rodriguez], 'I can't keep going out there and babying my arm.' I've got to get healthy."
Coghlan said he had an MRI on his shoulder about 10 days ago. In a Grapefruit League game with Tampa Bay on Wednesday, there was a telling play that something was wrong with the shoulder.
Matt Joyce hit a fly ball to center with Elliot Johnson on third base in the sixth inning. Johnson bluffed that he was tagging, and he stayed at the bag. Had he gone, he would have scored easily, because Coghlan simply threw the ball back to the infield instead of throwing all the way to the plate.
"I could have probably made a little bit [stronger throw], but I'm not 100 percent," Coghlan said. "I couldn't throw it all the way home and try to throw that guy out. I told [Rodriguez], 'I can't just keep on going out there and doing that.' He said, 'I totally understand.'"
The Marlins were hoping to start Coghlan in back-to-back games in center field. Instead, Emilio Bonifacio filled in Thursday against the Cardinals.
Bonifacio and Dewayne Wise are the strongest candidates to play center field until Coghlan is ready. There could be a possibility that Coghlan opens the season on the disabled list.
By going to the Minor Leagues, Coghlan can play center field and get his work in on reading the ball of the bat. He has been instructed not to do any strenuous throwing.
The recent MRI revealed some inflammation and tendinitis in his rotator cuff, but no structural damage. The ailment surfaced while Coghlan has still been recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Right now, the knee is fine. Coghlan tested it again on Wednesday, when he hit a triple against the Rays.
"I felt great running," he said. "It's good to be able to check another thing off the list of things I can do."
Coghlan's shoulder problem also comes while the Marlins are without right fielder Mike Stanton, who hasn't played in a Grapefruit League game because of a strained right quadriceps muscle.
Stanton is playing in the same Minor League game as Coghlan, but the right fielder is only hitting.
It's been a rough Spring Training for Florida's outfield because the projected regulars have not worked together as a unit. The hope was to have Logan Morrison in left, Coghlan in center and Stanton in right, with all getting groomed during the Grapefruit season.
More important than outfield continuity now is getting Coghlan healthy.
"We want him to be on the [Minor League] field so he can play center field and work on his reaction on hit balls," Rodriguez said. "We want him to take at-bats. He has a sore shoulder. We don't want to put him in position where he has to make a strong throw from the outfield, and then he will get hurt more.
"I saw that during the game yesterday. I said, 'We have to shut him down.'"
Source- Chris Coghlan heads to Minor Leagues to strengthen throwing shoulder | MLB.com: News