Recovered from appendectomy, Prado ready to work

Recovered from appendectomy, Prado ready to work

NEW YORK -- Martin Prado, whose defensive versatility is a major part of the Yankees' planning for 2015, has said that he has fully recovered from his season-ending appendectomy and will be taking ground balls at several infield positions.

The Yankees have identified Prado as one of their contingency plans at third base, where they are unsure of what can be expected from Alex Rodriguez given that he is coming off a season-long suspension and will turn 40 in July. Prado said that he will be ready for the challenge.

"I just put myself in a spot where, whatever you need from me, I'll be there," Prado told NJ Advance Media. "I can't lock in with one spot."

Prado spoke on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy Airport, where he, former big league slugger Cecil Fielder and Mets pitcher Vic Black took part in a YMCA charity event. Prado said that he resumed baseball workouts on Oct. 20 after having his appendix removed during a mid-September series against the Rays in Florida.

"Believe it or not, I was laying down and cheering for my teammates and cheering for my friends, living every single out," Prado said. "I care a lot about my team."

Prado, 31, was acquired by the Yanks from the D-backs on July 31 in exchange for Minor Leaguer Peter O'Brien and a player to be named later. Prado batted .316 with seven homers and 16 RBIs in 37 games down the stretch for New York.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that the club could use Prado at third base in the event a player like Chase Headley is not re-signed, which would leave prospects Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela competing to serve as the Opening Day second baseman.

The majority of Prado's big league experience is at third base, where he has played in 414 games over nine seasons with Atlanta and Arizona. Prado has also seen time at second base, left field and right field during his brief time with New York.

"With Prado's versatility to play the outfield, second and third, it gives us a lot of flexibility as we talk trade, as we talk [about] pushing the youth side of it," Cashman said recently.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.