DENVER -- Every now and again during Orlando Arcia's first two months in the Major Leagues, he has made a play that prompted Brewers manager Craig Counsell to stop and take note. Not because it was so flashy, but because it was so seemingly routine.
Arcia made two such plays in Saturday's 10-inning, 4-3 win over the Rockies, including one in the ninth that played a role in pushing the game into extras. With the Rockies' leadoff man already aboard against Tyler Thornburg, pinch-hitter Stephen Cardullo hit a 104-mph line drive off third baseman Yadiel Rivera's glove. It caromed toward Arcia, who fielded the ball barehanded and threw to first base for an out that helped Thornburg navigate the inning while allowing only the tying run.
The Brewers won the game in the 10th on Chris Carter's 41st home run.
"A play gets made and you say, 'Oh, that's just an out.' But wait, no, that's not just an out, that was a hard play," Counsell said of Arcia earlier on the Brewers' final road trip. "If you have the ability to make hard plays look routine, look easy, that's a good defender."
Arcia's other gem came in the fourth, when he fielded Nolan Arenado's one-hopper up the middle, spun around and threw to first for the first out of the inning.
The play looked relatively routine, but teammates knew it was not.
"He's one of the best," said rookie reliever Jacob Barnes, who pitched the bottom of the 10th for his first career save, and played with Aricia in the Minors. "He's a very smart player. He knows where to be. You guys have seen it the past couple of months; I've been fortunate to see it the past couple of years now. He's going to be a good one. He wants to be good."
Offensively, Arcia has struggled. After going 0-for-4 Saturday, he is hitting .209/.265/.332. But his steady defense has stood out.
"He made some plays tonight that were impressive," Counsell said. "He got outs that I don't know if every shortstop gets."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.