Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dallas McPherson Awaits Return to Show

As long as the team is playing well, the Marlins likely can be expected to avoid burning an option on slugging minor league third baseman-turned-outfielder Dallas McPherson, despite McPherson's prodigious play in Albuquerque.

Though the Marlins will face Kansas City at home this week in interleague action, a designated hitter will not be required until June 13 when the Marlins will cross Alligator Alley to face cross-state rival Tampa Bay on American League turf at St. Petersburg.

It may not be until then that manager Fredi Gonzalez takes a serious look at promoting McPherson, who has hit his prime at 27 and is pounding Triple A pitchers with a home run approximately every 10 at-bats, a batting average that has flirted with .300 and an on-base average approaching .400.

Though corner reserve Wes Helms figures to face lefties when a designated hitter is needed, McPherson would be an ideal, speculative option against righties if he can continue his torrid pace.

McPherson still needs to show why the Angels took him as the 57th overall pick in the 2001 draft and regarded him so highly that he was able to push aside veteran Troy Glaus at Los Angeles. Regrettably, however, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound McPherson's meteoric rise was curtailed after various injuries, the most serious of which required spinal surgery.

McPherson's services were considered by at least four teams after he came back from rehabilitation, but it was only Florida with a vacancy at third base that was willing to take a chance on signing him. So far, he has not disappointed.