When Chris Coghlan joined the Cubs in January of 2014 it was on a minor-league deal. He was a former rookie of the year for the Marlins but it looked like his best days were gone.
Yeah, so much for that.
Entering Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Braves, Coghlan was hitting .254 with a career-high 15 homers and slugging .456. Over his last six games, he was batting .444 with four homers and 10 runs driven in while establishing himself as the Cubs’ primary second baseman after spending the majority of his big-league career in the outfield.
“It’s just what you’re feeling inside sometimes,” Joe Maddon said. “There’s no more bat speed or less bat speed. I think his confidence level is up right now. A big part of hitting well is that when you see your pitch you hit it hard and you keep it fair. You don’t miss it, you don’t take it, you don’t foul it off.”
Coghlan’s career got off to a strong start in 2009, when he hit .321 and scored 84 runs. But injuries and ineffectiveness eventually ended his time in Miami, as he was non-tendered by the Marlins after the 2013 season.
Coghlan latched on with the Cubs and started last season in Iowa before being called up May 3. He hit .283 and made himself a part of the 2015 team, now as an infielder batting in the heart of a lineup for a team in playoff position.
“He’s just doing really well. I think he’s becoming more comfortable at second base,” Maddon said. “When he’s picking up a ground ball, he looks more fluid with it all of a sudden. He’s really got a lot of confidence. He’s one of those guys that I think by hitting him third, it actually elevates his confidence level, too.”