PHILADELPHIA -- From the first day of Spring Training in Jupiter, Fla., Ozzie Guillen says Donovan Solano has been the Marlins' best player on a consistent basis.
"He's doing what he's supposed to do," Miami's manager said before Monday's series opener against the Phillies. "Doubles, bunt the guy over, steal a couple bases here and there, play defense. ... This kid can help. If you put the right people around him, I think this kid can help a lot."
Solano has performed exceptionally well in recent weeks. Over his last 22 games entering Monday, the rookie second baseman is hitting .360 (31-for-86) with 13 runs scored, two doubles, a triple and 10 RBIs. His 31 hits in that span are tied for sixth most in the Majors. He has recorded multi-hit games in three of the last four games, and 10 of the last 22. He's been held hitless in merely two of his last 22 contests.
"I got more opportunities, got more at-bats, so I feel more comfortable right now," Solano said Monday.
Though he might be setting himself up well for next season, Solano insists he's not thinking that far ahead. Asked on Monday if Solano, as well as outfielder Justin Ruggiano, have basically earned spots on the 2013 roster through their play, Guillen said, "I don't see why not."
"He might not be the [National League] Rookie of the Year, but he was a great player for the Marlins," Guillen said. "To me, that's more important."