Marlins notebook

Justin Ruggiano OK with Miami Marlins’ platoon plan

 

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

Despite hitting .313 while serving as the Marlins’ full-time center fielder for much of last season, Justin Ruggiano isn’t complaining about sharing the position with Chris Coghlan.

“I’m on board for whatever they think is best for the team,” Ruggiano said. “I don’t think I’ve done enough in this game to say I deserve to be playing every day.”

Manager Mike Redmond said he intends to platoon Coghlan and Ruggiano, at least to start.

“Those guys, we’ll probably platoon them for now and see who steps up,” Redmond said. “If one of them takes off, they’re going to get the bulk of the playing time.

“We’re looking for someone to spark our offense, and that’s the one position where we need some offense.”

Coghlan was in Monday’s lineup against Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg, and Redmond said Ruggiano will likely start Wednesday when lefty Gio Gonzalez takes the mound for Washington. Coghlan went 0 for 4 and struck out twice.

Four-hole hitter

Placido Polanco said he doesn’t intend to change his hitting style and start swinging for the fences now that he’s batting in the cleanup spot, behind Giancarlo Stanton.

“That would be very stupid,” said Polanco, who has hit only 103 home runs in 15 big-league seasons, and only 13 total home runs during the past three.

For lack of anyone else with power other than Stanton, Redmond is going with Polanco because of the way he “handles the bat” and doesn’t strike out all that often.

“That might be a thing where we might rotate that depending on matchups,” Redmond said of the clean-up spot. “We don’t have a prototypical four-hole hitter, and if we move Stanton to fourth, we’re talking about the five-hole guy.”

Newcomers

Of the Marlins’ 25 players, nine were on an Opening Day roster for the first time: Adeiny Hechavarria, Chris Valaika, Jose Fernandez, Donovan Solano, Rob Brantly, Ruggiano, Wade LeBlanc, A.J. Ramos and Alex Sanabia.

The Marlins have the youngest starting rotation in the National League (26.62 years average age) and the second youngest in the majors, behind the Oakland Athletics’ average age of 25.03.

Coming up

•  Tuesday: No game

Wednesday: Marlins RHP Kevin Slowey (0-8, 6.67 ERA in 2011) at Washington Nationals LHP Gonzalez (21-8, 2.89 in 2012), 7:05 p.m., Nationals Park.

•  Thursday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-5, 3.67 in 2012) at Washington Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94 in 2012), 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park.

•  Scouting report: After an off day on Tuesday, Slowey will be seeking his first major-league win since 2010 when he takes the mound for the Marlins on Wednesday.

Slowey went 0-8 in 2011, his last season in the majors. The Marlins will be facing Hialeah native Gonzalez, who lost both his starts last season against Miami.

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