SARASOTA, Fla. – For now, Buck Showalter wants the players who are challenging for backup positions to stay put.
Steve Clevenger and Johnny Monell are the leading contenders for the backup catching job. They’re not to wander, bench coach John Russell reminded them.
“You’ve got to watch them. They’d like to take a glove and get out in the infield,” Showalter said.
“John’s told them, ‘I don’t want to see you guys hanging out at first base, second base, shortstop. You’re catching.’”
Showalter wants Ryan Flaherty, Jonathan Schoop and Jemile Weeks to concentrate on second base. Weeks has never played another position but second.
“Maybe on the road and someone gets hurt and something happens where we get forced into it, but I’d rather not do that,” Showalter said.
Utility work can wait.
“That’s something that we can do later on this spring if we want to,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Henry Urrutia has a sore right shoulder. Showalter says he’s OK to hit. Quintin Berry (back spasms) hopes to be cleared and play on Sunday. Alexi Casilla’s sore right hamstring is improving. Chris Marrero’s oblique is not improving, Showalter said.
-Alfredo Aceves has returned to the club after obtaining a work visa in Mexico.
-Suk-min Yoon will leave camp on Tuesday to go to Canada for his work visa. He should be back next weekend.
-Ubaldo Jimenez’s first start may come next Friday against Philadelphia.