Miguel Tejada has never played a position other than shortstop in 13 seasons as a major leaguer, but after signing with the Orioles last month he’ll slide to third base this year.
Of course, an MVP shortstop moving to third base is nothing new in Baltimore and Cal Ripken Jr. shared his advice for Tejada with MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko:
The hardest part is reworking the way that you think about the position. At a new position, you have to learn new responsibilities. There is a mental change. The physical change is that the ball comes off the bat at different angles. At shortstop, the ball comes off the bat pretty true. At third base, the ball slices differently off the bat of left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters.
Dad used to say that when a guy moves to a new position, it would take about 100 games to get comfortable, and I found that to be about right. I have no doubt that Miggy will make the adjustment and do really well. I would tell him to be patient and not get discouraged. He will get more comfortable as the season progresses.
Tejada is only signed to a one-year deal, so if it takes him 100 games to get comfortable at third base the Orioles won’t be very happy. However, my guess is that it’ll be Tejada’s offense rather than his defense that will disappoint in 2010.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.