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Coghlan returns to Marlins after extended DL stint

Coghlan returns to Marlins after extended DL stint

Coghlan returns to Marlins after extended DL stint

ATLANTA -- For the first time since June 8, Chris Coghlan was back in uniform with the Marlins on Sunday.

How the 28-year-old will be used, and exactly where, remains a work in progress, though he got some immediate work in right field in Sunday's 7-0 win over the Braves after Giancarlo Stanton exited with a tweaked ankle. Coghlan lined out in his only at-bat.

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Coghlan has played the outfield since 2009, when he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award. But with an abundance of outfielders in the organization, he's been working at third base, a position he played at Ole Miss in his college days and for most of his Minor League career.

Miami manager Mike Redmond is considering how best to use Coghlan. What the team is primarily looking for is offense. So if Coghlan hits, the team will find a spot for him.

"I know he's been playing third base down there in the Minor Leagues," Redmond said. "We'll see. I'm still trying to figure out exactly if that's going to be an option. We know he can play in the outfield, and we know he still has value for us as an outfielder."

Prior to the finale vs. the Braves, Coghlan was reinstated from the disabled list after missing close to three months with right calf nerve irritation. The nerve-related injury also caused him back discomfort.

In recent weeks, he was on rehab assignment at Class A Advanced Jupiter and Triple-A New Orleans, where he was 6-for-12 in three games.

A left-handed hitter, Coghlan was not in the starting lineup against Braves lefty Alex Wood on Sunday at Turner Field. He may not be starting on Monday either at Chicago, with the Cubs starting southpaw Travis Wood.

Coghlan welcomes the chance to play third base. Foremost, he is just happy to be back, and he has a month to give an indication of what he may expect next Spring Training.

"You've got one month, and you hope to be in there as much as you can and help the team win as much as you can," he said. "I don't anticipate having any [health] issues. I haven't had any issues in my rehab. I'm good to go, and excited to get an opportunity.

"When you start your rehab, it's more about how your body feels. It's more body first, then the performance. I think in the beginning, my performance wasn't there, but my body was adjusting. It was almost like Spring Training the first five, six games. Then I got over the soreness, and I was good. Then it was like, I need to step up the performance, and I was able to do that. I'm just trying to carry it over here."

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