08/25/2012 6:56 PM
Enrique Cruz (right). (Photo by Matthew Hicks.)
When Kansas City acquired infielder Enrique Cruz earlier this season, manager Kenny Hook called it a great move and lauded Cruz as a “true third baseman.” But what exactly does being an every day third baseman include? For the latest installment of “Covering the Bases,” Ashley Dunkak of tbonesbaseball.com caught up with Cruz and got three keys to good defense at the hot corner.
1. Know the tendencies of the hitters.
“How I set up before the pitch depends on the hitter, where he likes to hit the ball. Some hitters like to pull the ball, and some hitters like to go the other way, so first I just look for who’s batting.”
2. Know how the pitcher is approaching each batter.
“You’ve got to know what the pitcher’s going to throw. Maybe he’s going to throw inside, so the hitter’s going to hit the ball down the line, or maybe the pitcher is going to throw it away, so the batter is probably going to go the other way. As soon as the pitcher gets set to throw the ball, I get ready too.”
3. Keep your feet ready.
“Frank White always tells us, ‘Get your feet ready.’ For me, when I catch the ball sometimes, I like to throw it on the run, so he tells me, ‘Get your feet ready. Be prepared. Get your feet ready to go.’”
In “Covering the Bases,” the Kansas City T-Bones explain three keys to certain aspects of baseball and give fans an inside glimpse of the game on the field.