Emilio Bonifacio needs thumb surgery, out 4-6 weeks

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer
Sunday, the Marlins placed center fielder -- and occasional utility player -- Emilio Bonifacio on the disabled list with a thumb injury, but the severity of the injury was not known.

Bonifacio knows it now, and it's bad news. He told reporters Thursday (via Clark Spencer) that he will need surgery to repair the thumb, which will sideline him for four to six weeks.

Bonifacio, 27, is hitting .268/.351/.315 with 19 runs, three triples and an MLB-best 20 stolen bases. He's only been caught stealing once. In past years, he just played wherever they needed him, as he appeared at second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions in each 2010 and 2011. This season, though, Bonifacio became the everyday center fielder.

With Bonifacio out, Bryan Petersen has taken over the job in center, so it looks like he'll get an extended look. The 26-year-old Petersen is hitting .179/.258/.250 in 32 plate appearances so far this season. Chris Coghlan has been playing left field with Logan Morrison at first base.

One option for the Marlins in the upcoming weeks, should Petersen continue to struggle, is to bring 2011 All-Star Gaby Sanchez back up from the minors, moving Morrison back to left and using Coghlan in center. Sanchez is hitting .400 with a .647 on-base percentage through four games in Triple-A.

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