Frandsen meets challenge of shortstop
Giants infielder 'much more consistent' at new position
SAN DIEGO -- Despite never playing shortstop regularly for an extended period, Kevin Frandsen has looked more than competent at the position during his cameo appearances with the Giants.Frandsen, recalled from Triple-A Fresno when Juan Uribe went on bereavement leave after last Saturday's game, started his third game in a row at shortstop Wednesday. Frandsen likely will receive his final start Thursday, since Uribe now is expected to be activated Friday when the Giants open a three-game series in Seattle. Regular shortstop Edgar Renteria remains sidelined by a strained right hamstring, though he took batting and fielding practice Wednesday. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has noticed the confidence that Frandsen exudes.
"The game has slowed down for him," Bochy said. "He's much more consistent."Frandsen hasn't made any spectacular plays, with the possible exception of a slow chopper that New York's Gary Sheffield hit Sunday. That hasn't mattered, since making routine plays is the top priority for any infielder -- particularly shortstops, who handle so many fielding chances. Frandsen attributed his proficiency to increased game experience, concentration and extra work he has done with Fresno manager Dan Rohn.
"He makes sure I'm slow and under control" when fielding and throwing, Frandsen said.Frandsen also has played more intelligently, as he showed Tuesday night when he corralled Nick Hundley's grounder in the hole for an infield hit. Instead of desperately trying to throw out Hundley at first base or rushing a throw to second, where Chase Headley had held his ground, Frandsen simply held the ball.
"I didn't have a play, so I didn't force it," Frandsen said. "I didn't make a bad decision and try to make something happen."Having spent much of his career at second base or third base, Frandsen appreciates the unique challenges of playing short.
"You get to be an athlete out there," Frandsen said. "It's fun."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.