Chavez: Im glad this days over
Eric Chavez made his game debut at first base today, playing five innings while going 1-for-2 with a triple in his first at-bat at the plate. After exiting the game, he spoke to reporters about a sense of relief he felt in putting the day behind him.
“I’m glad this day’s over,” Chavez said. “That one’s in the books. For me it’s about using that cliche, it’s one day at a time. I’m really enjoying myself while I’m out there.”
He’s also getting help from several people, the most recent being Brewers first base coach Ed Sedar.
“I was actually over at first base when I didn’t need to be today,” Chavez said with a laugh. “The first base coach said, ‘Hey, you don’t need to be here right now.’ He hooked me up.”
Manager Bob Geren said, aside from some footwork that can be improved, he liked what he saw from his six-time Gold Glove third baseman. Chavez made a couple impressive fielding plays and also had to deal with what he called “wild throws,” including overthrown tosses from Kevin Kouzmanoff and Lenny DiNardo — both of which resulted in errors.
“I’m still getting comfortable,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be completely comfortable. There are times I go out to third and am still not completely comfortable.”
At the same time, Chavez insists he still feels healthy — which is of bigger concern right now than how many outs he collects at first.
“I feel fine,” he said. “Only time can tell my situation. To be honest, I just need to get familiar with everything. The first pick-off throw was different for me, and then there were a couple wild throws today. I just have to take it all in.
As for his offensive game, Chavez looked like his old self right away when he collected the triple. All spring, he’s been saying that he’s most concerned about being productive offensively so as to give the team multiple options of where to use him on the field.
“I think as spring goes on, it will be the way I’m making contact,” he said of trying to gauge his comfort level with the bat. “I know when I hit the ball whether I’ve got the hand speed there and making good contact. It’s something I’ll be able to know as I get in there making some outs and taking pitches.”