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Lucas makes case for roster spot next year

Lucas makes case for roster spot next year

Lucas makes case for roster spot next year

WASHINGTON -- From 2004 through early this season, Ed Lucas played in 925 Minor League games. Understandably, the 31-year-old rookie utility infielder wondered if he would ever see time in the big leagues.

Not only has Lucas gotten on the field, he's seen regular playing time, and he's put himself in position to be strongly considered for a roster spot in Spring Training.

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Ivy League educated at Dartmouth, Lucas has shown versatility. He's seen steady time at each infield spot, and he's also been used in left field.

He's been one of Miami's hottest hitters of late, posting five straight multi-hit games, as well as getting at least one hit in 10 of his last 11 games, before going 0-for-3 with a strikeout in Friday's 8-0 loss to the Nationals in which Washington righty Jordan Zimmermann threw a two-hit shutout.

"I've got a taste, and I want to be a part of it," Lucas said. "I just want to finish the year strong, and hopefully make the club next year."

Lucas takes nothing for granted, but he's making the most of his chances. He's appeared in 88 games since being called up from Triple-A New Orleans in late May.

"Just getting called up in the first place was a gargantuan milestone for me," Lucas said. "But once I got here, and especially once I started playing regularly, I just took the mindset of, 'I've got a job to do, like any other place I've ever played.'"

The Marlins are winding down a trying season, in which they've been learning the hard way.

"We're young," Lucas said. "We're going through a transitional phase.

"In hindsight, all that time I stayed in Triple-A, moving around, playing all those positions -- all that ended up paying dividends for me. I've come here and I hope I showed the staff they can trust me at whatever position they put me at."

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