Solano settles in as starting second baseman

Solano settles in as starting second baseman

Solano settles in as starting second baseman
MIAMI -- A little-known infielder the Marlins picked up from the Cardinals' organization led the team in batting average at the end of Spring Training.

Despite this, Donovan Solano didn't earn a spot on the Opening Day roster. Four months later, he had a career-high 12-game hit streak, which ended Friday night against R.A. Dickey. Solano finished 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the seventh spot of the lineup.

"I learned consistency and just playing the game and having fun," Solano said. "I'm just looking for a good pitch -- the fastball -- so I can have control for that pitch. It's just a reaction for a pitch in the middle. I don't think too much when I go to at-bats."

During the hit streak, Solano went 19-for-44 (.432), bumping his average to .292 entering Saturday. In one sequence, Solano reached base safely in nine consecutive plate appearances from Aug. 20-22, one shy of a club record.

In the month of August, when Solano hit .302 with eight RBIs, the 24-year-old started 26 of the 27 games the Marlins played. With Omar Infante traded -- and both Emilio Bonifacio and Logan Morrison on the disabled list -- Solano has solidified a spot in the lineup as the second baseman.

"It's more comfortable and easy when you play every day," Solano said. "My mindset is a little bit changed about playing every day. I prepare myself and my body for that day. I try to know the pitcher when I face him."

A non-roster invitee to Spring Training, Solano previously spent time in the Cardinals' system, but never got a shot at the big leagues. Now, he has 53 games under his belt.

"It's amazing to see my dreams come true," Solano said. "Here in Miami, they opened the door for the opportunity. I'm so happy to be here. I think about the time from Spring Training to the present, I feel like I've got a good season and opportunity."