Vizquel at peace with utility role
Veteran shortstop happy to help Rangers' younger players
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time in his 20-year Major League career, Omar Vizquel is not going to be an everyday player.
Vizquel said he is accepting that fact. He said he is willing to be a utility player.
"Either way, I'm going to be ready," Vizquel said. "I've got it in my mind to be in the utility role at either second or short."
Vizquel even joked he could play third base or catch if the Rangers needed. Actually, he wasn't joking.
"I could play the position but ...," Vizquel said.
Vizquel was signed as a utility player in January. But there's no doubt he was also signed as possible insurance in case the Rangers decided Elvis Andrus wasn't ready. Vizquel even admitted that he still held out hope he could be a regular player.
That's not going to happen. Andrus is the Opening Day shortstop. There was some speculation that Vizquel might not want to stick around as a utility player and that he might instead retire. The Rangers still have Joaquin Arias in camp.
But Vizquel said he is not going anywhere and is ready to be a utility player on a team where the infielders rarely take a day off.
"Well that's what the plan was when I signed," Vizquel said. "I knew it was going to be hard to get the starting position but I never lose my hope. I prepared myself to do that. I knew my role here when I signed. Either way I'm ready. I'm ready for the challenge to be there. I've got in my mind to be the utility guy and try to help out everybody around the infield."
"I've been talking to Michael Young. [Ian] Kinsler has been asking a lot of questions. I think it's good to have a guy who's been around a long time who's played with a lot of great players like [Roberto] Alomar and Tony Fernandez."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.