PITTSBURGH (93.7 The FAN) - You'd think a player making his debut at a brand new position might get at least a couple of batters before they're thrust into the spotlight. That was not the case for now utilityman Cole Tucker.
Tucker joined The PM Team with Andrew Fillipponi and Chris Mueller to talk about playing in the outfield for the first time in his life and what it was like.
"Never," Tucker said when asked if he had ever, at any level played in the outfield. "Last night was the first time and you guys saw it. So I'm happy that I didn't go out and fall flat on my face. It's so funny...Cesar Hernandez sure as hell hit me the first pitch of the inning right at me. I was like 'Alright, well this is baseball, I'm getting tested. The baseball gods are watching.' I was just laughing to myself."
Tucker not only made that play, but made the highlight of the night in the field ranging deep into left-center field and making a sliding catch at the wall. He took us through that moment.
"I was pretty pumped," Cole told us. "I was more so just happy that I 1) didn't die and run into the wall and 2) that I didn't break my knees from sliding."
So he made a big impression in his first opportunity at the new position, but what is he hearing from General Manager Ben Cherington and Manager Derek Shelton about how serious they are when it comes to playing him in the outfield during a real game?
"I've been kind of hoping that something like this would come about for a while now...I'm really grateful that Ben and Shelty brought this to me. But really they're like, 'We're not trying to take you away from being a short stop because you're really good defensively and we want you to hold onto that, but this is more of an addition to your game than a replacement."
Click the link below to hear Cole talk more about the opportunity in front of him, what it was like having to worry about a wall behind him instead of the outfield like at short stop and what he thinks about the idea of sharing PNC Park with the Toronto Blue Jays.