GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Francisco Lindor has been heading out to the practice diamonds with a pair of gloves every morning at Indians camp this spring. In doing so, he has provided a glimpse into why the young shortstop captured both a Gold Glove and Platinum Glove for his defensive work
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Francisco Lindor has been heading out to the practice diamonds with a pair of gloves every morning at Indians camp this spring. In doing so, he has provided a glimpse into why the young shortstop captured both a Gold Glove and Platinum Glove for his defensive work last season.
Lindor takes his normal shortstop glove, but also carries a thinner training glove with him for taking ground balls. The flat glove -- also known as a pancake glove -- has no pocket, forcing Lindor to concentrate on a few things as the ball skips his way. He is focusing mostly on his footwork, but also on keeping his sights on the baseball until it meets his hands.
"With the flat glove, I just want to make sure I keep my eyes on the ball the entire time," Lindor explained. "And it helps me work on my feet, so I can keep my feet moving and I can never compensate with the glove. With the flat glove, it keeps me more honest."
Lindor said he has used the specialized glove the past three offseasons, but Rawlings has now made one for him -- complete with a small Puerto Rican flag on the webbing -- to use this year. The shortstop said he plans on utilizing it during the season, too.
Another result of training with the flat glove is improved body positioning on ground balls. Lindor said it helps him make sure that he is collecting the baseball on the left side of his body, so the risk of having it bounce away is minimized. With his momentum heading to first base, fielding the ball on the right side of his body could lead to him missing it entirely.
Indians third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh, who doubles as the team's infield instructor, said he and Lindor discussed mixing the glove in during drills in the early portion of Spring Training.
"He likes it for his hands and staying on the ball," Sarbaugh said. "It's more just seeing it into his glove. You've really got to have some concentration, because it's flat. He likes using it. That's fine. It's just so it helps him get prepared for the season. We talked about it. I said if that's something he feels strongly about that's going to help him, we're all for it."
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.