D-backs' Coughlin Getting Noticed





PHOENIX—Sean Coughlin arrived in spring training with a surgically improved throwing arm and he left with improved prospects.

"He has started to put himself on the map," said Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, who helped shepherd Coughlin through the lower rungs of the organization as farm director. "He came to spring training as an extra catcher and ended up staying almost the entire spring based on how he played."

The lefthanded-hitting Coughlin, 24, has always shown power since being taken in the 13th round of the 2007 draft out of Kentucky. He hit 15 home runs for low Class A South Bend in a notorious pitchers' league in 2008 before hitting a combined 11 homers in 77 games at high Class A Visalia and Double-A Mobile last year.

Coughlin made the Southern League regular season all-star team after hitting .304/.432/.484 at Mobile, even though he played only 50 games before having surgery on July 16 to repair a fractured hand. At that time, doctors also removed bothersome bone chips that had been present in Coughlin's right elbow for several years and forced him to play first base much of last year.

"You kind of 'gator-arm' the ball down to second base, short arm a little bit and cut off the release," said Coughlin, who was told last spring that the chips probably would probably need surgery. "I really had to compensate with my shoulder and with other aspects of my bodyI really haven't been able to get it through the zone and extend through the ball and get it down to second base until this year. So it's been kind of difficult. I'm not using that for an excuse. I just wanted to play."

Coughlin opened the 2010 season at Mobile but was promoted to Triple-A Reno less than a week into the regular season, when Arizona starter Miguel Montero tore the meniscus in his right knee April 10 and Reno starter John Hester joined the parent club. Coughlin had a home run and two doubles in his first three games with Reno.

Snake Bites

• Righthander Daniel Stange continues to progress the further he is removed from 2008 ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery. Stange, a seventh-round pick in 2006, gave up only two hits and one run in his first seven innings at Reno, getting victories in three of his five relief appearances. He had seven strikeouts and no walks.

• Visalia outfielder Marc Krauss got off to hottest start of any hitter in the organization. Arizona's second-round pick in 2009, Krauss hit .390/.490/.585 through his first 12 games for the Rawhide.