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.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.