Steve Selsky came out of high school in Los Angeles as a third baseman. He expected he’d play third base when he got to the University of Arizona.
It didn’t take long for Selsky to realize he needed a new position if he was going to get on the field. His bat allowed him to get on the field right away — he slugged .541 as a freshman — but he had too much traffic ahead of him at third base.
That would give the Red Sox nine games over 10 days to get the ex-Milwaukee relief pitcher the appearances he needs to be ready for the regular season to start — probably as many as four.
“We had three shortstops playing short, third and second — and, actually, the guy playing first played short in high school,” he said. “We had four shortstops on the infield. NFL Jerseys Authentic Our lineup was just better if I was in the outfield.”
Boston signed Mitch Moreland in order to be able to shift Ramirez more often into the vacant designated-hitter role. Ideally, however, Moreland would sit and Ramirez would play first base against lefties, allowing Chris Young to serve as the designated hitter.
And so Selsky went to the outfield, where he spent the vast majority of his time in the Cincinnati Reds’ minor-league system. The only time he got back into the infield was when he played first base — including 68 games there at High-A Bakersfield in 2013.
That Selsky hits from the right side only gives him a better chance to win a job as a reserve behind Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval. He hit a hanging breaking ball for a double to center field in Saturday’s game, improving his slugging percentage this spring to .548.
And so Boston has had Selsky start to take ground balls and make throws not just at first base but at third base, too.
“The key is just getting reps,” he said. “You obviously don’t get to hang out at the hot corner too much. I do get a decent amount of reps at first, so it’s not foreign to be close to the hitter like that.”
New England Patriots Cheap Jerseys Boston manager John Farrell said that he anticipates having Selsky play third base in a game in the not-too-distant future to see how he looks there.
“He’s an interesting guy because of the versatility,” Farrell said. “There’s a quality righthanded bat there. He can do a number of things.”
Selsky hit .280 with a .363 on-base percentage and a .459 slugging percentage at Triple-A Louisville last season, earning his first call-up to the major leagues with Cincinnati. He hit .317 with a .386 on-base percentage at Louisville the year before that. But the Reds designated him for assignment in January to clear space on their 40-man roster, and the Red Sox pounced.
“I left at 7 in the morning and got back at like 12 at night,” he said.
The Reds Caravan proceeded without him. Kids Basketball Jerseys Cheap.
Relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg threw a bullpen session Saturday, the second time he’d pitched off a mound since his last Grapefruit League appearance on March 1.
“Without getting too far ahead of ourselves,” Farrell said, “that’s the framework of what we have right now. ”
Hanley Ramirez had what Farrell called “a little bit of a breakthrough” in his own shoulder work, Farrell said, but continues to be held out of games, at least as a first baseman. Ramirez has thrown on the side but has not yet been permitted to throw to bases in defensive drills.
Whether Ramirez plays any games at first base before the end of spring training remains to be seen. He has hit .235 with a .333 on- base percentage and a .471 slugging percentage in 34 at-bats this spring, including two doubles and two home runs.