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Lo Duca could see time at 1B


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MIAMI -- Now that Paul Lo Duca has solidified the catcher position, the Marlins are looking for alternative ways to keep the veteran in the lineup as much as possible.

The dog days of summer tend to wear down catchers. Lo Duca may get a reprieve by switching to another position.


According to manager Jack McKeon, Lo Duca will likely make some starts at first base. With the Dodgers this season, Lo Duca played 85 games at catcher and three games at first base.


"That's a very good possibility," said McKeon. "He's played a lot over there. [it's] not out of the question. We want to keep his bat in the lineup."


McKeon noted that backup catcher Mike Redmond also will need some work.


But with the Marlins needing to make up as much ground in the standings as quickly as possible, days off will be few for the regulars.


The Marlins are weighing several options to replace Hee-Seop Choi, who went to the Dodgers as part of the Lo Duca trade.


Jeff Conine will remain the primary starter as long as the team is in the race. The organization will give Miguel Cabrera some work at first base, but don't expect the 21-year-old to become a regular there any time soon.


"It's not fair to the club to work him over there now," said McKeon of Cabrera.


Now back in left field, Cabrera has never played first base in a game. McKeon and the coaching staff talked about how best to groom Cabrera at first and concluded that it would be best not to rush him.

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