Norris could see pregame reps at first base

Norris could see pregame reps at first base

SAN FRANCISCO -- Padres manager Bud Black said Tuesday that catcher Derek Norris could begin taking ground balls at first base during pregame drills with hopes that Norris could see time there this season.

Black was quick to point out that this isn't a position change, but more a move to add to Norris' versatility and an opportunity to spell him from the rigors of catching, while still keeping his bat in the lineup.

"It would just be against certain left-handed pitchers, we want to keep his bat in the lineup, like for a day game after a night game, or if he's caught consecutive games," Black said. "Take the load off his feet from catching."

To date, Norris hasn't taken ground balls at first base in pregame drills. But that could happen in the not-so-distant future.

"It would be a gradual build-up of reps. We are working through this," Black said. "But he was an amateur third baseman. He has good hands, good feet and a good baseball mind. This will not happen quick, but we're thinking about it."

Norris has played four innings at first base in his big league career, all in one game in 2013 with the A's.

If the Padres are able to get Norris acclimated to first base and then get him into game at some point, it could give rookie catcher Austin Hedges more opportunities to get into the lineup.

Hedges, recalled Monday from Triple-A El Paso, is expected to get his first Major League start Wednesday as the Padres are playing a day game after a night game.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.