After many repetitions of pitch after pitch, inning after inning, game after game, baseball has a way of wearing on an athlete. It’s an inherently tiring affair, exacerbated by the fact that much of the sport (for most positions) amounts to standing and waiting for something to happen. The game teaches patience, durability and work ethic. That said, a prepared team always has a utility player or two on hand.
No matter the reason - fatigue, injury, a day off - all baseball players need a little bit of time off here and there. Utility players can ease the process for managers by taking over for a starter, regardless of the position. Second base, centerfield, you name it - utility players can handle the job.
Coaches of young athletes should use practice time and sports team websites to outline some of the merits of positional flexibility. Even the top players on a team would be wise to consider learning a new position. The more options that a young ballplayer can provide for his manager, the more valuable he can be. That goes for not just hitting, but fielding as well.
To combat the rigors of a long baseball season, utility players serve a key role. Sports team websites can be a great place to focus on these oft-overlooked contributors.
Brewers utility man working on new position
Jason Rogers is accustomed to doing a lot of different things at once. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Georgia native grew up playing football and baseball. However, this spring, the Milwaukee Brewer is set on a new kind of multitasking. The utility guy for the Brewers, who has plenty of experience at first base, is learning the intricacies of third base as well.
“Sometimes you think that a guy may be a utility man and the next thing you know, he gets an opportunity to be an everyday player,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, told the news outlet. “Down the road, we’ll see where that it is.”
Mets backup fortifies the infield
Matt Reynolds, a former minor league player in the New York Mets farm system, made his way to the big league club because of his potential as a do-it-all guy, according to The Record.
“We’re going to need somebody to certainly back up the middle of the infield, and it’s a lot to ask of a young guy,” Mets manager Terry Collins told the news outlet. “If [Reynolds] is a baseball player, he can handle it, because he gets himself ready to play.”