Belliard No Lock at Second
Ronnie Belliard was re-signed late after displacing Orlando Hudson at second base last season, but that apparently doesn’t mean he’ll be the every-day starter there this year as management has concerns about his age (35 in April) and his conditioning.
“He knocked in some big runs for us, enough so that you basically played him instead of your regular second baseman,” said manager Joe Torre. “When we made the trade for him, we made no promises he was going to play and, all of a sudden, he caught fire and we really had no choice.
“He was fine with the backup role last season. We know he can play for a short period of time. We have to figure out how many days a week it makes sense.”
As for the conditioning, Belliard’s $850,000 contract will not be guaranteed until he weighs less than 210 pounds. He said he would weigh-in Friday.
Jamey Carroll and Blake DeWitt are also in the mix in what could be a platoon at second base. — Ken Gurnick