Gonzalez to give outfield a shot in winter ball

Gonzalez to give outfield a shot in winter ball

Gonzalez to give outfield a shot in winter ball

CLEVELAND -- Astros backup shortstop Marwin Gonzalez said Saturday he plans to get some work in the outfield during winter ball this year in Venezuela. Gonzalez said Astros manager Bo Porter asked him when he got called up on Aug. 14 if he wanted to try the outfield.

Gonzalez, an infielder by trade, has been taking fly balls in the outfield during batting practice and believes adding the outfield to his resume could bolster his chances of making the team next year.

"I kind of like the idea," Gonzalez said. "If I can play the infield and the outfield, it's a plus for me. I've been practicing. He didn't tell me, but I guess it's going to be for next year."

Gonzalez, acquired by the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft after the 2011 season, appeared in 15 games in center field and 33 games in left field in the Minor Leagues while coming up with the Cubs.

"I played with Starlin Castro of the Cubs when he was at shortstop and I played some games in center field," Gonzalez said. "They might try me in Spring Training because the games don't count."

When asked how his strong arm plays in the outfield, Gonzalez wasn't shy.

"I can throw a little bit," he said with a smile.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.