SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Moustakas is not only hitting .450 this spring, he demonstrated his versatility on Thursday at a new position, second base.
Moustakas had never played second base in a game, not even in high school, but he went six innings there in a 3-2 loss to the Angels.
"I've never really played on that side of the field, actually," he said before the game. "I've always played short and third, so the angle of the ball coming off the bat is going to be a little bit different and turning double plays will definitely be different. I think I'll be all right, I did play short, so I think I have a little background around the bag at second."
There was no chance to turn a double play, just three routine ground balls that Moustakas handled easily.
"Just trying to get comfortable in case of an emergency or something happens where I need to go over there," he said.
Moustakas, of course, is the regular third baseman. Danny Valencia, also a third baseman and the team's probable backup infielder, has been used at second base as well.
"It just gives us an option," manager Ned Yost said. "We just want to look at it. Valencia's been OK over there, too."
Valencia was taken out of Thursday's game after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch. X-rays were negative, and he's considered day to day.
Yost likes to have his players capable of switching positions in case of an emergency. Although he hasn't done it since high school, Moustakas ranks as the emergency catcher.
"Exactly. I'm becoming a nice utility guy right now," he said. "But hopefully I'll never have to go behind the plate because it's a lot harder than playing third or second."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less