Playing first is a first for Alberto Gonzalez
One month ago, Nationals infield instructor Tim Foli suggested to Alberto Gonzalez that he start practicing at first base. Gonzalez, who plays shortstop, second base, third base and has practiced in right field, took his advice. Gonzalez had not played first in a game at any level - "Never," he said - but he took throws and groundballs most days. Little changed, until he saw the Nationals lineup card today and noticed himself at first base. "It was a surprise," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez will get his shot for first as Adam Dunn takes his first scheduled off day of the season. Manager Jim Riggleman will give Ryan Zimmerman the day off tomorrow, which will be his first scheduled day off all year, too.
"I prefer to do it on the road rather than at home," Riggleman said. "Our fans come out every day wanting to see those guys. I really wanted to take this opportunity to get Gonzo in the ballgame."
Michael Morse, who has played some first base this year, will start in right field against Brewers left-hander Manny Parra. Riggleman considered putting Morse at first base and Gonzalez in right. Riggleman settled on this alignment because Morse has played mostly outfield and he felt more confident in Gonzalez's versatility and good hands.
"I'm just happy to play," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez order a first baseman's glove, but it is still on the way from manufacturer TPX. In the meantime, he's going to borrow Dunn's first baseman's glove.
July 24, 2010; 6:13 PM ET
| Tags: Adam Dunn, Nats, Nats-Brewers
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