ARLINGTON -- You have to know that Mitch Maier was kidding when he said it.
"I had to come and look at the lineup today and see if I was playing center or if I was playing first," he said wryly before Sunday's game against the Rangers.
A former catcher, a former third baseman and a current center fielder, Maier was pressed into two innings of service at first base for the Royals in Saturday night's game. He picked up a bouncer down the line and flipped to pitcher Gil Meche for an out and caught a throw later in the seventh inning.
"I was actually more concerned about the pickoff throw from the pitcher. Because I'd fielded ground balls but I'd never taken an actual pickoff from the pitcher," Maier said. "So that was a first, that was a new experience."
It came with speedy Elvis Andrus at first base in the eighth and Meche made a pickoff toss.
"You think it'd be easy, which it was the way he threw it, but I'd never caught it and had to tag a guy," Maier said.
The tag was late but a moment later, catcher Jason Kendall called for a pitchout and tossed out Andrus trying to steal. Maier asked first baseman Billy Butler, who was operating as the DH, for a critique.
"I asked Billy if he saw my snap-tag or whatever you call it and he said it was good," he said.
Maier, of course, checked the lineup card and found he was back in center field on Sunday.
"But, yeah, I'm going to be a little more comfortable in center field," he said.