BRADENTON, Florida (SportsRadio 93-7 The Fan) – Already, the Pirates had Josh Harrison, Adam Frazier and Alen Hanson (who is out of minor-league options) – guys who are comfortable playing multiple positions.
Right before Spring Training, the Pirates added another. Now, 28-year-old Phil Gosselin is looking to do whatever he can to make this Pirates team.
“I feel like it’s becoming more prevalent across baseball,” Gosselin said of the number of versatile Pirates. “But here, it’s definitely a little more than stops I’ve made in the past. There are quite a few guys that can bounce around, have good at bats and play pretty good in the field. It’s good to have that on the team.”
An infielder by trade, the right-handed hitting Gosselin made 35 appearances at second base, 10 at third base, six at first base, two in left field and one in right field while leading the majors in pinch-hits as he batted .277 in 2016 with Arizona.
Gosselin is also a childhood shortstop and could be the one guy most qualified to give Jordy Mercer a day off here and there.
“Been used to it now,” Gosselin said of playing multiple positions. “Been doing it for a couple of years. Feel pretty comfortable everywhere they’ve thrown me. Moving forward, I imagine that will be the role so I’m going to embrace it and do the best I can where ever they put me that day.”
That includes a start in left field on Wednesday as Manager Clint Hurdle is giving him a shot to prove himself.
“Going to get him some reps and see if that’s something that he can work into his tool set,” Hurdle said. “He understands the importance if he can pull it off. He will give it everything he’s got, this guy is a good team player.”
With the loss of Sean Rodriguez to free agency and the unknown of when Jung Ho Kang will be in camp, Gosselin has a good chance to avoid the minors for a second straight year.
“Guys who are looking for jobs are real comfortable bouncing around, guys who want to play in the big leagues are comfortable bouncing around. Look at the opportunity that is available and if you think it’s an opportunity for you to make the club I think you would embrace it and move on it.”