Kinsler makes first appearance at third base
SEP 12, 2012 11:43p ET
Kinsler took over the hot corner when both Adrian Beltre and Mike Olt went out with injuries in Wednesday's 5-2 win over Cleveland.
A career second baseman, Kinsler played the last two innings at third but never got a chance to handle the ball.
"I wanted something," a grinning Kinsler said. "Whatever happened, happened, but I just wanted a chance at it. Show off my arm, you know?"
Kinsler wasn't grinning about the way he wound up at third. Beltre left the game in the fifth inning after straining his right shoulder fielding a grounder earlier in the game.
That's when Kinsler thought he heard manager Ron Washington directing Michael Young, who was the designated hitter.
"I thought he said "Mike" as in Mike Young," Kinsler said. "So I ran down there real quick and I was like, "Hey, we don't need to lose our DH. I can play third if you need me to."
The rest of the conversation went like this:
Washington: "Oh no, Mike Olt."
Kinsler: "All right, I can play third."
Washington: "You should have told me that a little earlier."
When Olt came out after injuring his plantar fascia (tissue supporting foot arch) in the bottom of the seventh, Washington could have made a number of moves to fill the void at third. Brandon Snyder, who started a game at third this season, was on the bench.
But thanks to their earlier conversation, the idea of playing Kinsler at third was planted in Washington's head.
"He [Kinsler] was already in the ballgame, so I moved him over to third base and put [rookie Jurickson] Profar at second," Washington said. "Profar had never played third base. I don't think Kinsler had ever played it either, but I wasn't going to mess up the defense in both places."
Kinsler said the last time he played third was in 2005 at Triple-A, and then only for about 15 games. His move to third was the first time he played a position other than second base in 887 major league games.
"It would have been pretty fun to get a bunt laid down or something," Kinsler said.
As for playing a full game at third, well, Kinsler is hoping for speedy recoveries for Beltre and Olt.
"I mean, yeah, I could do it," Kinsler said. "I don't know how good I'd be at it, but I think I could do it. I'd definitely be uncomfortable, but I'd be comfortable enough to play it."
Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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