05/18/2010 1:45 PM ET
Bobby Crosby: Adjusting to NL
Former Athletic happy he signed with Pirates
I've underwent a lot of changes recently. I've changed teams for the first time in my career, I'm in a different league and I'm in a unique role. Still, I'm enjoying myself and, to be honest, I was ready for something new.
Going to the Pirates was a big change. I spent a lot of time -- my entire seven-year big league career -- with the Athletics, and I'm a California boy, born and raised. Playing on the East Coast has been a big adjustment, but I was ready for something new. I had to mix it up a little, and so far I'm very happy with my decision to sign in Pittsburgh.
The move to the National League has been good for me, too. I came in not knowing really what to expect. The transition has been smooth so far, and I fit well into the utility role I'm expected to play.
I play all over the field this year, and I need to be prepared. That's the mentality that I bring with me to the ballpark. I'm ready to play every day no matter what the coaching staff asks of me. I've already played all four infield positions this year, and I try to work out at all the positions every day so I'm ready to go whenever I'm called upon. It's been a fun because I had primarily played shortstop for most of my career. There's a challenge involved.
Even though I play all over the field, I only carry two gloves with me. I have a first baseman's glove and my regular shortstop glove, which I use for all of the other positions.
Each spot on the field has its technical difficulties to learn. Playing third, you have new angles to adjust to. The ball gets to you quickly, and you have to be able to react to that. Playing second base, you have to adjust to the turn on a double play. You have to learn to throw back against the motion of your body at times. At first base, you really have to be aware of your positioning on every play.
The challenge is getting to the point where the plays and footwork at those positions become second nature, like it is when I play shortstop.
Being in the NL gives me more opportunity for playing time. Role players aren't used as much in the AL because of the designated hitter. This year, every time I come to the field, even when I'm not in the starting lineup, I know there's a good chance I'm going to get in the game.
That's a very good feeling.
After seven years in Oakland, Bobby Crosby, who recently played in his 700th career game, is batting .250 with as .350 on-base average in a utility role with the Pirates. The 30-year-old Southern California native enjoyed his best big league campaign in 2004 when he hit 22 homers and drove in 64 runs for the A's.