Ozzie puts premium on defense in outfield

Ozzie puts premium on defense in outfield

Ozzie puts premium on defense in outfield
MIAMI -- In spacious Marlins Park, manager Ozzie Guillen sees the need for speed in his left and center fielders.

"To be an outfielder here, to play left or center field, you better have some speed," Guillen said. "You cannot have a guy every day who doesn't have range in the outfield, because there is going to be trouble. This is a huge park, and we've got to go get it.

"Defense is very important. To me, I think defense is more important than anything else. Defense helps pitching. If you make the play for the guy, he's going to last longer on the mound."

Having speed in left puts the team in an interesting position.

Logan Morrison was the Opening Day left fielder, but he's played first base since Gaby Sanchez was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on May 20.

Chris Coghlan, who made a terrific running grab to rob Bryce Harper of the Nationals on Monday, has been seeing action in left field.

When Sanchez is brought back up, Morrison could be moving back to left field. But Morrison, who had surgery on his right knee last December, doesn't have the range of Coghlan.

So if he does go to the outfield, Morrison is a likely candidate to be replaced for defensive reasons late in games.

"It was in the [seventh]," Guillen said of Coghlan's catch on Harper. "LoMo is not going to be there. Defense is the No. 1 thing to me, besides pitching."