Joe Maddon will have a roster with a lot of flexibility this season. In other words, it is his dream come true. And how those pieces fit together on a daily basis is in part dependent on how Maddon chooses to use Ben Zobrist.
There has been a lot of speculation that Zobrist would start to see more time at first base as he got older. And with Dan Johnson and Casey Kotchman as Maddon’s two best first base options entering Spring Training, there has been speculation that Maddon would use Zobrist regularly at first base this season.
And now we have confirmation…
“He’s definitely going to be out there. … But I do want him to be comfortable there, more than he was last year.”
This tells us that Zobrist will play first base this season — likely against lefties — and he will see a lot of time there during Spring Training. In his career, Zorilla has started just 11 games at first base with 9 of those coming in 2010.
This also tells us that that Johnson and Kotchman are not only battling for playing time at first base, but they are also battling for a roster spot. With both Zobrist and Johnny Damon able to play first base, it is unlikely that Maddon would want two left-handed hitting first basemen on the roster.