Pulling the plug on Bonifacio

May, 8, 2009
5/08/09
1:06
PM ET
Dave Cameron on a roster move you might have missed:
 Bonifacio
    Well, that didn't take long. Despite the flukiest hot start baseball has seen since Tuffy Rhodes, it looks like the Emilio Bonifacio era may be coming to an end in Florida. The Marlins have recalled top prospect Chris Coghlan from Triple-A, where he was hitting .348/.425/.565 with a 12/10 BB/K ratio to go along with 12 extra base hits. The power was the nice surprise so far, as no one questions his ability to handle the bat and control the strike zone. He's not the greatest athlete in the world, but he's a baseball player. He's essentially the anti-Bonifacio.

    --snip--

    Thanks to their 11-1 start, the Marlins are still semi-competitive in the NL East despite the fact that their offense has fallen apart. Hanley Ramirez could use some help, and Coghlan is the kind of player who could give the team some legitimate offense from a position where that is sorely lacking. There's just no reason why Coghlan shouldn't get the majority of playing time at the hot corner. Even if the Marlins fall out of the race, Coghlan is a part of their future, while Bonifacio is not.

    How he distributes the playing time at third base will be something of a litmus test for manager Fredi Gonzalez. The sooner he puts Bonifacio on the bench the better, and hopefully it's permanent this time.

I should note that Coghlan is not considered the top prospect in the organization (he's a tad old for that); before the season Baseball America had him as the team's No. 9 prospect. I think what Cameron meant is that Coghlan is a top prospect.

Anyway, do you realize how far Bonifacio has fallen? (I didn't, until I checked.)

As you might recall, in the Marlins' first game this season, Bonifacio hit a home run, collected three singles and stole three bases. He was, for a day, the toast of the National League. In his first seven games, he batted .485 and radio hosts were asking me if this guy was for real (you might easily imagine my answer).

Bonifacio's line since those first seven games: .165/.224/.176.

Bonifacio's season line: .250/.295/.306 -- practically dead even with his career line (which now encompasses 345 plate appearances in the majors).

Honestly, when you enter a season with a player like Bonifacio in your lineup, you're just throwing games away. The Marlins are not generally a stupid franchise. So exactly how and why does something like this happen?

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