Marlins' Chris Coghlan heading to third

Chris Coghlan's knee is heeling, and just in time because this winter he's supposed to learn a (mostly) new position:

    As of now, the Marlins plan on converting Coghlan from left field to third base.

    A natural infielder, Coghlan was switched to left field in May 2009 to get his bat in the lineup. The move paid off as he hit .321 and won the NL Rookie of the Year honors.

    In 2010, Coghlan was limited to 91 games and was hitting .268 when he suffered his season-ending injury on July 25.

    Coghlan damaged his meniscus during a postgame celebration when he landed awkwardly on his knee after smearing a shaving-cream-covered towel into the face of Wes Helms, who delivered a walk-off hit.

    When he is cleared to do baseball activities, Coghlan will focus on switching to third base. For now, his primary focus is being completely healthy.

    "They told me third base, and I haven't heard otherwise," Coghlan said of where he expects to play next season. "There are a lot of things that can still happen. You never know. But as of right now, the tentative plan is third base.

The Marlins' third basemen last season were Jorge Cantu and Chad Tracy.

The Marlins have three young outfielders -- Logan Morrison, Cameron Maybin, and Mike Stanton -- who absolutely must play almost every day.

So, yeah, if Chris Coghlan is going to play, he has to play third base. Unless Dan Uggla is traded, in which case Coughlan could probably play second base, his primary position in the minors. Coghlan did play in 42 minor-league games at third base and posted a sparkling .907 fielding percentage. That's an incredibly small sample and he figures to fare better with more experience. But the major leagues is a tough place for on-the-job training. So the sooner Coghlan knee heels and he can start taking hard grounders, the better the chance he'll be in the Marlins' Opening Day lineup.