KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chris Coghlan was an outfielder when he landed on the disabled list. He could be the Marlins’ third baseman when he returns.
Coghlan, out since June 8 with right calf nerve irritation, is scheduled to begin his minor-league rehab assignment on Wednesday with Single A Jupiter.
Manager Mike Redmond said the plan for Coghlan, the National League Rookie of the Year in 2009, was to play five innings at third base with the idea that could become his new position.
“We kind of talked about it as an organization, trying to figure out where he would not only fit, but to where he could play and get playing time,” Redmond said. “Obviously, with young kids [ Marcell] Ozuna and [ Giancarlo] Stanton and [ Jake] Marisnick and [ Christian] Yelich — that’s a pretty crowded outfield. So you got to figure out a spot for him where he can get some at-bats. You never know.”
Redmond said if all goes well for Coghlan, “we’re looking around Sept. 1” for his return to the Marlins.
If the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kansas City Royals end their long dry spells in not reaching the postseason, they’ll push the Marlins closer to the bottom the list of teams that have gone the longest without playing October baseball.
The Pirates, who are leading the National League Central, appear to be in the best position to end their playoff drought, which dates to 1992. The streaking Royals, who improved to 19-5 since the All-Star break with Monday’s 6-2 victory over the Marlins, are on the fringe of contention in both the American League Central and wild-card races.
The Royals haven’t been to the postseason since 1985 when they won the World Series.
The Marlins last reached the postseason in 2003, and the Seattle Mariners (2001) and Toronto Blue Jays (1993) have also had long droughts. All of the other 25 teams have made at least one postseason appearance since 2003.
While the Marlins are aware of Jose Dariel Abreu, the slugging first baseman from Cuba who reportedly has defected to Haiti, it’s highly questionable that they would spend the kind of money it would take to sign him.
ESPN’s Jim Bowden said Abreu should expect to command something along the lines of $45 million over six years.
• Wednesday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (3-4, 2.95 ERA) at Kansas City Royals RHP Ervin Santana (8-6, 3.25), 2:10 p.m., Kauffman Stadium.
Thursday: Off day.
• Scouting report: Turner is coming off a loss in Atlanta in which he gave up five hits, including three home runs, and three walks over five innings against the Braves.