WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Chris Coghlan is back in a familiar spot, being in the Opening Day lineup. This time, the 27-year-old will be hitting in the second spot, instead of leading off.
The National League Rookie of the Year in 2009, Coghlan will be starting in center field in Monday's opener at Washington.
Manager Mike Redmond said on Sunday, the plan, at least early on, is to go with matchups in center field.
The Nationals are starting right-hander Stephen Strasburg on Monday. So going with the left-handed hitting Coghlan was an easy decision. On Wednesday, lefty Gio Gonzalez will be pitching, and Redmond plans on starting Justin Ruggiano that day.
"We'll see how it goes," Redmond said. "I would say, right now, Ruggiano will probably play against Gio in Game 2. Those guys, we'll probably platoon them for now, and see who steps up."
Coghlan was in the Opening Day lineup in 2010 and 2011. A year ago, he made the Marlins out of camp as a backup.
"If one of them, obviously, takes off, then they are going to get the bulk of the playing time," Redmond said. "That's where we're at. We're looking for somebody to spark our offense, and that's one position where we need some offense."
Olivo excited to re-join Marlins in backup role
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When an opportunity to make the Reds fell through, Miguel Olivo wasted little time hooking on with the Marlins.
The signing became official on Friday, and the 34-year-old is now ready for his second stint in Miami.
But up until the end of Spring Training, Olivo was holding out hope that he would be with the Reds. They had other plans, opting to go with Devin Mesoraco as Ryan Hanigan's backup.
Before asking for his release, Olivo sat down with Reds manager Dusty Baker and pitching coach Bryan Price to discuss his situation.
"They talked to me," Olivo said. "I thought I had a chance, but they wanted to go with Mesoraco and Hanigan. They said they wanted to send me to Triple-A, but I said, 'No.' I thought I had an opportunity to play in the big leagues.
"I told them to give me my release because I felt I could play somewhere in the big leagues. I came here."
Olivo provides a right-handed hitting option to Rob Brantly, who bats left-handed.
Brantly is starting in Monday's opener against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.
On Wednesday, Washington is going with lefty Gio Gonzalez. There is a strong likelihood that Olivo will start in that game.
"I'm very happy to come back here," Olivo said. "Everybody wants to play in Florida. Now, with the new stadium and the new club, it's nice."
Olivo has been in the big leagues since 2002, where he has caught 1,020 games -- including two no-hitters.
The veteran said he plans on working closely with Brantly, a 23-year-old with 31 games of big league experience.
"It's amazing, I'm already having fun with Brantly," Olivo said. "He's a nice kid. I'm going to help him out a lot."
Olivo previously was with the Marlins in 2006-07. In his final game of '07 -- the second to last game of the season -- he was ejected after being involved in a skirmish.
The Mets won 13-0 that day at Shea Stadium, and during the frustrating afternoon for the Marlins, Olivo charged Jose Reyes, and they were quickly separated as both benches cleared.
John Maine, now with the Marlins, had a no-hitter going that day until it was broken up in the eighth inning by Paul Hoover, who was in the game because Olivo was ejected.
"Everything in the past stays in the past," Olivo said.
Olivo and Reyes, both from the Dominican Republic, were friends at the time and still are friends.
"That's part of baseball," Olivo said.
Marlins going with one southpaw in bullpen
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An ideal bullpen situation is to feature two lefty relievers, at least one with a history of shutting down left-handed hitters.
The reality the Marlins faced in Spring Training was that there weren't two viable candidates, so they opted to retain just one.
Mike Dunn will be the lone southpaw available in the bullpen when Miami opens against Washington on Monday at Nationals Park.
In finalizing their 25-man roster, team management felt it was best to go with a more experienced right-hander, like Chad Qualls, over rushing a young lefty like Dan Jennings, who will open the season at Triple-A New Orleans.
"You always consider it, but it's not a high priority for us," president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said of carrying two lefties. "I think Dan Jennings can pitch here. I think Zach Phillips can pitch here."
Phillips, like Jennings, will start off with the Zephyrs.
Miami had lefty candidates in Spring Training. Other than Dunn, none clearly won a roster spot.
"You saw them all here in camp," Beinfest said. "We've got guys we think can pitch here. We've talked about, 'You have to have two lefties.' Yes, it's probably better, but you want to have guys who can get outs. We wanted to add some experience to the 'pen.
"Instead of maybe an inexperienced lefty, having an experienced righty, we thought was more valuable. I think we have candidates from left sides, so it hasn't been a high priority."