Versatility is key in battles for final roster spots

Versatility is key in battles for final roster spots

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The rash of injuries -- including infielder/outfielder Skip Schumaker's dislocated left shoulder on Friday -- has forced the Reds to improvise and contemplate different roster decisions.

That explained why players fighting for roster spots are being used at multiple positions lately. On Sunday vs. the Brewers, outfielder Jason Bourgeois started at second base. On Saturday vs. the Cubs, Chris Nelson played both third and first base and Kristopher Negron was used at both third base and center field.

Bourgeois played a lot at second base in Minors, but has not played there much in the Majors.

"When you lose one of your most versatile players, well actually you could say two because [Jack] Hannahan is a guy that can play all of infield positions and left field … versatility takes on a completely different importance," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "That's where you look at [Neftali] Soto and [Ramon] Santiago and Nelson and …. Negron, there's a lot of versatility in those guys. I think the good thing is that they've had that opportunity, or if they haven't -- they're getting it now."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.