It might be time for Teahen at two sack

Nothing in stone yet but how can you keep Mark Teahen out of the lineup? He’s hitting .500 after Saturday’s game against the Rangers. He has five homers and 12 RBIs in just 14 games, his spring curtailed by his World Baseball Classic absence.

The only question, of course, is can Teahen do the job defensively at second base? At times he looks a bit stiff out there but, as he did Saturday, he’s demonstrated he can handle the routine plays and do all right on the backhand.

The test, as Gold Glover Frank White often says, is whether or not Teahen can pull off the plays that happen with his back to first base. In other words, move toward the bag at second to take a throw and then pivot for a double play with a runner thundering right at him. Or slide to his right for a backhand stop, then plant, whirl and throw. That answer can only come in the heat of actual games and so far Teahen hasn’t had much of a test there.

But manager Trey Hillman said after Saturday’s game that he likes the way Teahen has played at second. And he’s got to absolutely love the way Teahen’s been hitting the ball.

Not much time left to make the second-base decision. And, in fact, Hillman could just switch from Teahen to Willie Bloomquist to Alberto Callaspo as the occasion demands.

But, on Opening Day, we might just see what we saw on Saturday at Surprise: Teahen playing second and batting third. Stay tuned on that.

–Dick Kaegel

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