MLB notes: Coghlan's switch to center paying off

April 7, 2011 

Sitting in Chris Coghlan's locker Wednesday was an autographed newspaper photo of his diving grab to rob Rick Ankiel of a two-run, extra-base hit Tuesday.

"Thanks buddy," read the message. "Nice Hollywood dive — Love, Ank."

Less than a week into the season, the Florida Marlins' center fielder has a pretty good start on a video of defensive highlights. He robbed the Mets' Ike Davis of a likely extra-base hit with a diving grab of a sinking liner last weekend.

Not bad for someone whose experience at the position before this year was limited to a couple of grade-school games. A second baseman in the minors, Coghlan moved to left field in 2009, when he became the NL Rookie of the Year. Last winter the Marlins decided to switch him to center, and he has embraced the change.

"I like playing center a whole lot," he said. "It's more responsibility, more action. As a competitor you want to play the more demanding position."

Who's hot

After buying his own pitching machine and overhauling his winter workout regimen, Yankees slugger Mark Teixeira is off to an exceptional start this season. Through five games, he already had more home runs (four) and RBI (10) than he managed the entire first month last year.

Who's not

Rays designated hitter Manny Ramirez started the season with one hit in 16 at-bats and was out of the lineup Wednesday. He flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and will miss Thursday's game at the Chicago White Sox while tending to a personal matter.

Killebrew an opening scratch

Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew won't throw the first pitch before the Twins home opener Friday. Killebrew was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December. He said Wednesday that a trip from Arizona to Minnesota would disrupt his treatment schedule, so he'll stay "with a resolve to defeat this disease."

Injury updates

■ White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn underwent an emergency appendectomy Tuesday night and will miss at least five games.

■ The Athletics placed right-hander Michael Wuertz on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled right-hander Tyler Ross from Triple-A Sacramento.

■ Worried the cracked cuticle on his pitching thumb would alter his pitching mechanics and lead to a full-blown arm injury, the Rockies put ace Ubaldo Jimenez on the 15-day DL.

■ The Chicago Cubs will place starting pitchers Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner on the 15-day DL because of arm injuries.

■ The Giants activated closer Brian Wilson, who led the majors with 48 saves last season, from the DL. Wilson strained a muscle in his left side March 17 during a spring game.

■ Dodgers 3B Casey Blake made his season debut Wednesday at Colorado after being activated from the 15-day DL.

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