LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Every year, Travis Hafner gets a few spring starts at first base, and manager Eric Wedge answers questions about how much Pronk will see time at the position in the season proper. Perhaps Wedge is just tired of the questions, because Hafner has yet to see any time in the field during this Grapefruit League season. And Wedge has no plans of slotting his designated hitter in at first base at all before camp breaks. Questions aside, Wedge's actual rationale is that there's no sense in getting Hafner acclimated to the position now. Interleague Play doesn't begin until mid-May, and Hafner won't get any starts at first until then.
"Basically, you start all over again in a couple months," Wedge reasoned. "So we're just going to ramp him up closer to Interleague Play." An arthritic right elbow prevents Hafner from being able to play first base with consistency. But Wedge has no qualms about Pronk's play at the position. "He can do it," Wedge said. "He's gotten to be pretty decent over there."
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.