The Philadelphia Phillies have signed utility player Chris Coghlan to a minor league deal with a reported invite to Spring Training. Coghlan (31) has had a rather interesting MLB career to date. Breaking into the league as a promising rookie with the then Florida Marlins in 2009, Coghlan put up an outstanding .321/.390/.460 slash line in 128 games. His performance awarded him with the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year and the hopes of a bright future. (Side note here, he beat out Andrew McCutchen, Dexter Fowler, and J.A. Happ in the award race for RoY). Coghlan’s career with the Marlins lasted another 4 seasons after his stellar rookie year performance, but his success did not develop like most thought it would. Chris averaged only 66 games per season with the Marlins from 2010-2013, as injuries and game struggles kept him out of the lineup.
After his stint with the Marlins, Coghlan signed with the Chicago Cubs in the 2014 offseason, hoping for another chance to get playing time and stay healthy, and that’s exactly what he did. Between 2014, 2015, and part of 2016 with the Cubs, Coghlan hit .264/.351/.441 in 321 games. His contributions to the team helped the Cubs to the postseason in 2015, and to a World Series championship in 2016.
As for his role with the Phillies, Coghlan should make the team out of Spring Training as a bench player with a really good chance of winning an everyday job if an injury comes up or someone is struggling. His ability to play the corner outfield spots as well as second and first base gives the Phillies a lot of options in regards to match ups and splits. The biggest problem with Coghlan’s game however, is his defense. BaseballReference.com has him at a career -8.3 dWAR player. If Philadelphia can use Coghlan right, and give him good at bats, he should be able to help contribute to this up-and-coming team.
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