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Outfielder Coghlan taking grounders at third

Marlins having hottest hitter make transition to hot corner to keep bat in lineup

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Marlins may have found their third baseman of the future. He is the same player who has seen steady action the past few weeks in center field.

Chris Coghlan, who broke in with the organization as an infielder, is close to going through a transition to third base.

Coghlan, who entered Tuesday batting .390 (23-for-59) since May 18, is in the process of taking ground balls at third base. Most likely, he won't start playing games there until after the Marlins' road trip is completed.

Manager Mike Redmond and infield coach Perry Hill discussed the idea, and Coghlan, who played third base at the University of Mississippi and in the Minor Leagues, welcomed the opportunity.

"I know he's up for that," Redmond said. "Looking down the road, we want to keep his bat in that lineup, and that could be a spot where we could get him some at-bats."

Coghlan, who started in center field on Tuesday, took ground balls at third during batting practice.

"They know I'm game for whatever," said Coghlan, who has switched positions on several occasions in recent years.

In 2009, Coghlan played third and second base at Triple-A New Orleans until a couple of days before he was called up in May to the Marlins. He played one game in left field at New Orleans, and he was in the big leagues the next day.

Coghlan was the National League Rookie of the Year in 2009, and he played left field in all but one game. He's also played center field and a little bit of right in the Majors.

Coghlan has never played third base in the big leagues.

"I don't mind, because ever since I've been here, it's been like that," he said. "If this was the first time, I'd probably freak."

Switching Coghlan isn't the only move the Marlins are considering.

Rookie Marcell Ozuna is likely to see time in center field and left field in anticipation of Giancarlo Stanton coming off the disabled list.

"We've got some flexibility in there, and now is the time to start moving some guys around and preparing for these guys' arrivals," Redmond said.

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

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