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Kouzmanoff making pitch for roster spot


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Marlins have health issues at first and third base, and Kevin Kouzmanoff has experience at both positions.

Miami is also looking for a right-handed bat off the bench. Again, Kouzmanoff fits the profile.

What the next few weeks will determine is if Kouzmanoff ultimately is a fit to make the team.

The 31-year-old is on a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. In limited opportunities, he's 3-for-10 with two home runs.

"We've got some bench spots open, and we're looking at a lot of different guys and trying to get as many guys as many ABs as we possibly can," manager Mike Redmond said. "[Kouzmanoff's] definitely a guy who has versatility. And being a right-handed bat off the bench, that's what is intriguing to me."

Third base has become an issue with Placido Polanco resting back spasms. At first base, Logan Morrison is recovering from right knee surgery and won't be ready Opening Day.

From 2007-09, Kouzmanoff was a regular with the Padres. In 2010, he appeared in 143 games with Oakland. He last played in the big leagues with the Rockies in 2011.

Going from a regular to a reserve is an adjustment for many players.

"It think it's more of a mindset than anything," Kouzmanoff said. "It's being prepared. If you're not going to get consistent at-bats, you have to maximize what you can do in the batting cage, or on the field, and try to get as many reps as you can, and put your mind into your thinking. This is my role, and I'm going to accept it, and make the most of it.

"You have been an everyday player in the big leagues, and now your role has changed. That's the way it is, you have to accept it, deal with it, and move on."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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