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Figgins making strides in battle to make club


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Marlins didn't sign free agent Chone Figgins to a Minor League contract until February 8. And his name hasn't come up much since.

That may be starting to change. Figgins went 4-for-4 in Sunday's 10-2 win over the Braves at Champion Stadium, one day after going 2-for-3. That raised his Grapefruit League average to .333 and put him in the mix, competing for the utility spot with Matt Downs, Chris Valaika and Nick Green, who are also non-roster invitees.

"[Figgins] has had some good at-bats," said manager Mike Redmond. "So it was nice to see him come out and get some hits. He's a guy vying for one of those bench spots. He's a utility guy. He plays third. He plays second. He's played short and the outfield. He fits that utility role need for us.

"We brought him in thinking an equal competition for everyone. We're playing all these guys. They're all playing the same amount of time. That's something that we'll have to sit down with at some point, figure out what we're looking for and who fits that need the best. But there's still time. There are still at-bats out there for these guys."

Figgins also scored twice and drove in a pair of runs on Sunday.

Redmond noted that, with Adeiny Hechavarria penciled in at shortstop, he'll place a premium on finding a bench player who can play shortstop. The candidate with the most experience at that position is Green.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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