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NL East Update: The one where the Marlins believe in Coghlan

Are the Florida Marlins making a mistake by putting Chris Coghlan in center field?

So a guy brought up as an infielder, who isn’t considered fast, and had last season cut short due to surgery on his knee is going to play center field? Good Luck. Speed is only half of what makes you a good outfielder, instincts and timing are huge factors as well, but it is yet to be seen how Coghlan will perform after his injury. The question becomes does Coghlan have the instincts and timing, as well as enough speed for the demanding position? This will be one of the big storylines heading into 2011.

Dan Uggla has been given an opportunity that other great players for the Atlanta Braves did not.

There is no question the Braves made the right move by not extending Gary Sheffield, J.D. Drew, or Mark Teixeira. It simply was not a good fit for either side and they went their separate ways. What’s interesting is that everything worked out in the end. Drew and Teixeira went on to win a World Series with the Red Sox and Yankees respectfully, and Sheffield had some productive seasons in the Bronx. Naturally, many are under the impression that Uggla will not live up to his extension because of his age and fear of breaking down, but I find it hard to believe that he will not live up to the five-year, $62 million deal.

The Mets have added another name to the list of available free agent starters.

The connection between Dave Bush and the Mets is that J.P. Ricciardi drafted him in 2002 when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays. I agree in that the upside for Chris Young or Jeff Francis is greater than that of Bush, but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if that’s where the Mets have to turn. All three pitchers have something to prove and my guess is that the Mets come to terms with Bush, strictly because of the Ricciardi connection. Like I always say, its all part of Sandy’s plan.

Brad Lidge rebounded well last season after a frustrating 2009 campaign.

A historically perfect 2008 followed by a historically bad 2009 can certainly raise some eyebrows. How will Brad Lidge respond in 2010 after a complete breakdown on the field which led to elbow and knee surgery? That was the question on all Phillies fans mind and lucky for them, the closer returned to form with a 2.96 ERA, 27 saves, and an impressive 10.2 K/9 ratio. Expect to see another solid year by Lidge in 2011, he is too valuable for the team not to have him.

Drew Storen wants the closer’s job, but is newly acquired Henry Rodriquez the favorite?

There should be an open tryout for closer going into Spring Training and the favorites will be Storen and Rodriquez. From what I have read Rodriquez is a hard thrower but he struggles with his control, but it is yet to be seen if he can be “effectively wild” instead of just being all over the place. I would feel more comfortable with Storen as the closer not only because I have seen what he can do but it would also make him happier. To learn more about Henry Rodriquez, be sure to check into The Nats Blog on Thursday when I talk to Christy Hoffman from Athleticsnation.com.

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