Yelich makes first start in center

MIAMI — Friday night will mark game No. 41 Christian Yelich has played in the big leagues. It will be the 21-year-old’s first start in a position other than left field.

Yelich is getting the nod in center field, a position he is certainly familiar with in the Minor Leagues. He saw substantial time there in the past, including this season at Double-A Jacksonville.

But the Marlins are shuffling their lineup around in their series opener against the Nationals at Marlins Park.

Yelich shifting to center field opens up room for Chris Coghlan to play left field.

More than defense, the Marlins are looking to improve their offense. Coghlan and Yelich are each left-handed hitters.

Coghlan has seen substantial big league time in left field. But he has been working at third base, a position he played extensively in college at Ole Miss and in the Minor Leagues.

In two games at third, Coghlan has had six chances, and he’s committed one error.

Miami is coming off taking two of three against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Overall, however, it was a rough 3-6, three-city road trip.

Rookie of the Year candidate Jose Fernandez will be getting the start on Friday. It will be Fernandez’s second to last start before he is shut down.

MARLINS

1) Coghlan, LF
2) Solano, 2B
3) Yelich, CF
4) Stanton, RF
5) Morrison, 1B
6) Polanco, 3B
7) Hechavarria, SS
8) Mathis, C
9) Fernandez, P

Joe Frisaro

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