When the White Sox promoted Micah Johnson from Class AA Birmingham to the Knights on May 13, it created a logjam of middle infielders for the Charlotte Knights.
The addition bumped Carlos Sanchez from second base to shortstop and Tyler Saladino to, well, all over.
Since the move, Saladino has sat out three times, made starts at third base, shortstop, left field, and as a designated hitter.
In Thursday’s 7-5 loss to the Indianapolis Indians in front of 10,289 at BB&T BallPark, he found himself back in left and for the first time, he ran into trouble on a deep line drive.
After getting a late break on the ball, Saladino had it go in and out of his glove and fall for an error that led to a insurance run late in the game for the Indians.
“Obviously (my defense) wasn’t the best today,” said Saladino, who had never played an inning in the outfield before May 113.
“It’s just different,” he continued. “Being in the infield, you don’t need to go too far, or run too hard for many pop flies. It’s more just trying to figure out how to camp under the ball, as opposed to turning and running and getting to the gap.”
In his first appearance in left, Saladino had to borrow a glove from Blake Tekotte.
Thursday, he was trying to break in a new one.
“I’ll play anywhere,” said Saladino, who had started 17 consecutive games at short before Johnson’s arrival. “If I’m in the lineup, I’ll take it. If you need me to catch, I’ll catch. That’s just the way it is.”
With both Sanchez and Johnson considered higher prospects, the decision to move Saladino around makes sense from an organizational development standpoint.
It’s the same tactic the Knights used with Steve Tolleson last season.
Tolleson’s versatility allowed him to catch on with the Toronto Blue Jays this season, where he has appeared in games at second, all three outfield positions and even once on the mound.
Hickory 9, Charleston 4: The Crawdads brought their red-hot road bats back home with them Thursday night, as the Crawdads scored eight unanswered runs over the middle innings to beat the visiting RiverDogs.
After scoring 10 runs in each of their last two wins in Kannapolis, the Crawdads carried the streak back to Hickory with their nine runs coming on 11 hits.
Delmarva 5, Kannapolis 1: Delmarva starting pitcher Sebastian Vader spun 7.0 strong innings on the way to his fifth consecutive win as the Shorebirds topped the visiting Intimidators. Delmarva scored four runs in the first inning.
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