Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Tucker working out at familiar position

Astros have several candidates up for first-base job
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros outfielder Preston Tucker worked out Saturday morning at first base for the first time this spring during normal drills. Tucker, who played first in college, is tinkering with the position in an effort to get more versatile. He had been taking grounders at first during early work the past few days, but on Saturday ramped up the action.

"Today's the first day I've actually thrown to second and flipped to first in a year and a half," he said. "It's new to me right now, but I think I can get the hang of it pretty quickly."

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros outfielder Preston Tucker worked out Saturday morning at first base for the first time this spring during normal drills. Tucker, who played first in college, is tinkering with the position in an effort to get more versatile. He had been taking grounders at first during early work the past few days, but on Saturday ramped up the action.

"Today's the first day I've actually thrown to second and flipped to first in a year and a half," he said. "It's new to me right now, but I think I can get the hang of it pretty quickly."

Astros' Spring Training info

Tucker broke into the big leagues last year as an outfielder and hasn't seen time at first since 2014, when he played a few games at Double-A. The Astros are having what amounts to an open first-base tryout this spring with Jon Singleton, Matt Duffy, Tyler White and A.J. Reed the main candidates.

"The simple stuff is easy, just catching the ball and throwing it, but once the game speeds up, it's going to be a little bit different," Tucker said. "Obviously, I want to get my reps in, but there's a lot of things I need to work on as well. Doing everything mechanically right is something I want to get first and then as far as situations go and what I need to do at certain parts of the ballgame, once I get my body right and figuring out how to field properly, then I'll worry about game time stuff."

Tucker showed good results last year when he hit .243 with 13 homers and 33 RBIs in his Major League debut, but the starting outfield is set. Tucker could eventually see some time at first base during Grapefruit League games, but later in the spring.

"He's getting work in," manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's brand new for him still, even though he's got a history there. But he's doing fine. He's getting a lot of early work. All our first basemen are -- Tyler White, Singleton, Duffy, Reed and Tucker. They're dealing with some really high-volume early work and we did a few drills with them today to get him comfortable. The key is getting him comfortable. It looks like he can make all the plays, and he's certainly familiar from his college days, but it's a little different on a Major League field."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros, Preston Tucker