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Solano answering bell as season winds down

Solano answering bell as season winds down

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NEW YORK -- As the season winds down, the Marlins are evaluating to see which players are stepping up.

Donovan Solano is answering some questions.

The 25-year-old has primarily anchored second base, but the question remains whether he projects as a starter or a utility player. In either capacity, he promises to be part of the plans for 2014.

"Whether he is ultimately down the road, an everyday guy, or a utility guy, he definitely has value for us," Miami manager Mike Redmond said.

Solano enjoyed a solid doubleheader on Saturday night, belting a home run and making a couple of key defensive plays.

In September, the Colombian native has hit safely in 12 of 14 games after a 1-for-5 effort on Sunday, extending his hitting streak to six games.

Solano has teamed up nicely with shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria to form a solid double-play combination.

"I like his versatility," Redmond said. "Although we've played him primarily at second base, he can play other positions. He can play third. He could spell Hech at short, if we needed to."

Earlier in the season, Solano went on the disabled list with a left intercostal strain, and when he was ready to return, Derek Dietrich had solidified second base. But when Dietrich struggled, he eventually was optioned to Double-A Jacksonville.

Solano again returned to playing second.

On a team struggling to score runs, Solano has a .365 batting average with runners in scoring position.

"He's done a nice job of hitting with runners in scoring position," Redmond said. "He gives us a good bat. I like the way he plays the game."

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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