PHOENIX -- In Spring Training, Donovan Solano was a Minor League invitee who captured the attention of the Miami coaching staff.
Even though he opened the season at Triple-A New Orleans, the 24-year-old Colombian native was on the organization's short list of callups.
Considered a utility infielder when he joined the Marlins, Solano now finds himself playing every day. Most recently, he's taken over at second base, and he's had a hot series against the D-backs. From the sixth inning on Monday to the eighth inning in Game 1 of a doubleheader on Wednesday, Solano reached base successfully in nine straight plate appearances. That is one shy of the franchise mark, done three times. The most recent was Cameron Maybin in 2008.
Solano extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the first inning of Miami's 3-2 loss in Game 1, and he beat out an infield single in the seventh inning of Game 2 to extend the hit streak to seven.
"I feel comfortable," Solano said. "I feel like I'm seeing the ball, hitting the ball [and] staying inside the ball."
Manager Ozzie Guillen feels Solano is worthy of entering next season as a frontrunner to make the team.
"He should be on the team, I don't know where," Guillen said. "I think it's too early to say, 'He's my starting second baseman, my starting third baseman.' I think he deserves a shot to be on the ballclub, not just come in here and try to make the team. That's what I think."
Like he did in Spring Training, Solano is taking advantage of an opportunity. The Marlins initially viewed Emilio Bonifacio as their regular second baseman after Omar Infante was traded to the Tigers on July 23. But on Aug. 3, Bonifacio went on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
Bonifacio came off the DL on Sunday, and he returned to center field, where he was on Opening Day. Bonifacio now is dealing with pain in his right knee.
At a time when the Marlins are evaluating their roster with an eye toward the future, they're looking to see who steps up. The organization is measuring if Solano is best suited to play every day or come off the bench.
Solano's playing time dramatically has increased in August, and he's 20-for-69 (.290) in the month.
"I'm making the adjustments," he said. "It's better when you play every day and you have more opportunity. It makes it easier."
Right knee sprain sends Bonifacio back to DL
PHOENIX -- For the third time this season, Emilio Bonifacio is headed to the disabled list. But the latest injury was not the same as the first two.
After Game 1 of Wednesday's doubleheader at Arizona, the Marlins placed Bonifacio on the 15-day DL with a right knee sprain. Previously, he spent two stints on the DL with a sprained left thumb.
Manager Ozzie Guillen says the ailment shouldn't require surgery, but the chance remains that Bonifacio could miss the remainder of the season.
"If we're not going anywhere, why are we going to take a chance for him to get hurt again, to go to Minor League rehab and do all kinds of stuff to come back?" Guillen said. "To me, it's up to him. But why risk something that shouldn't be risked?"
Replacing Bonifacio on the roster was lefty reliever Dan Jennings, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. Jennings was sent back down after the doubleheader nightcap.
Something didn't feel right in the first inning on Tuesday night when Bonifacio planted and threw the ball to third base. He was lifted an inning later for pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez.
On Wednesday morning, Bonifacio had an MRI on his knee, and the results confirmed the sprain but showed no serious damage.
"It started bothering me when I made the first throw to third," said Bonifacio, who is holding out hope he can return.
The D-backs scored five runs in the first inning on Tuesday in Miami's 6-5 comeback win. The play that caused the problem for Bonifacio was on Jason Kubel's single to center. As Aaron Hill headed to third base, Bonifacio's knee buckled when he set and threw to third.
Bonifacio stayed in the game and caught two fly balls in the inning. Upon returning to the dugout, Bonifacio said his knee was bothering him and was replaced by Hernandez.
"I never felt that with my knee [before]," Bonifacio said. "It was a concern. I couldn't step real hard. That was my concern."
Speed is a huge part of Bonifacio's game. He's one of the fastest players in baseball, and he has been used in the leadoff spot. He is batting .258 with a .330 on-base percentage and has 30 steals.
But it's been an injury plagued season for the 27-year-old. He was reinstated from the disabled list Sunday after being out with a sprained left thumb since Aug. 3. The injury occurred when he made a diving attempt at a ground ball while playing second base against Washington.
Bonifacio initially injured his thumb on May 18, tearing a ligament. He had surgery on May 25 and was out until the All-Star break.
The Marlins moved Bonifacio back to center field upon his latest return from the DL to avoid further problems with his thumb.