Versatility, hard work still staples of Pearce's game

Orioles first baseman/outfielder might be an option at third, if needed

Versatility, hard work still staples of Pearce's game

SARASOTA, Fla. -- There are no plans yet for Steve Pearce to play third base, though it remains an option and in the back of manager Buck Showalter's mind.

It's an unusual spring for Pearce, who isn't fighting to make the club and hasn't been a regular fixture on road games because of that. It's also a difficult balance for Showalter, who knows hard work is a big part of Pearce's game.

Pearce's sliding grab

"He will get plenty of [playing time], we are still three weeks away," Showalter said of the challenge of holding back Pearce, who started his fifth of 10 spring games on Wednesday.

"You don't want to take away from who he really is. I've had a lot of players like that, that's what made them good was knowing they worked harder and were more prepared. But with Steve, if he wasn't starting, he'd probably take 100 swings in the cage over the course of the game to be ready for that one at-bat to help the team. And now if he's doing that and playing five or six days a week, that's counterproductive.

"I think it helped him stay healthy last year. When a guy has more problems with his wrist when he's on the bench and not playing every day as opposed to when he's playing every day, you know how much work he's doing. We hear a constant ding in there, balls going off the cage. We all know who it is."

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.