Chris Coghlan is back to being a hitting machine

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Chris Coghlan headshot.jpgChris Coghlan was 4-for-4 with two walks, two doubles, an RBI single and four runs scored in a 14-9 win over the Rays on Friday night.

Last year’s National League Rookie of the Year scuffled to a .227/.276/.292 triple-slash through April and May, but he is 20-for-38 (.526) through the first nine games this month. The 24-year-old outfielder has hit safely in each of his last 11 games dating back to last month, eight of which are multi-hit games. 

Marlins manager Freddy Gonzalez told Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune that he was never worried about Coghlan’s early season struggles.

“Look, you don’t worry about a kid like Chris Coghlan,” Marlins manager
Fredi Gonzalez said. “He just keeps working. He doesn’t change his
approach. By the end of the season, he’ll be hitting .300, probably
higher.”

Coghlan enters Saturday’s action at .278/.331/.381
overall. Oh, and remember that it took him 105 at-bats to collect his first extra-base hit this season? Well, he has eight of them in just 38 at-bats this month. Is it possible that Coghlan was motivated by the prospect of losing playing time with Mike Stanton’s arrival to the big leagues? Perhaps. Coincidence or not, the Marlins will gladly take it.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.