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.