BRADENTON, Fla. -- The erstwhile regular shortstop charged in from third base for the swinging bunt, made the barehanded pickup, twisted his body and released a spot-on sidearm throw to first base.
Clint Barmes was both comfortable at the hot corner, and happy to be there.
"I'm pretty confident I can do the job wherever they put me. I'm excited for the chance to move all over," Barmes said. "Coming in with a new role, I knew that's what it'd be."
After working both at short and at second, Barmes saw his first practice action at third on Saturday. Though he has had stints as an everyday player at both positions around the keystone, his third-base experience is limited. The 34-year-old veteran of 11 Major League seasons has started 918 games -- four at third, three of them within the first week of the 2008 season for the Rockies and their manager, Clint Hurdle.
"So it's been a while," Barmes said. "But it'll come back."
Third baseman Pedro Alvarez and even second baseman Neil Walker, a switch-hitter, may be rested against certain tough left-handers, giving Barmes opportunities at either position. An though hitting is not his forte, Barmes has a good track record against some of the league's toughest southpaws. For instance, he has gone 7-for-27 (.259) against the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and 4-for-13 (.308) against Philadelphia's Cole Hamels with a home run off each.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less