DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Although Jace Peterson desires to maintain his role as the Braves' starting second baseman, he has also accepted the opportunities he has been given to acquaint himself to the utility role that he might have to fill if he is still in Atlanta when Dansby Swanson and
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Although Jace Peterson desires to maintain his role as the Braves' starting second baseman, he has also accepted the opportunities he has been given to acquaint himself to the utility role that he might have to fill if he is still in Atlanta when Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies arrive on the Major League scene.
"Right now during Spring Training, I'm just taking it as I'm learning these other positions and getting confident out there," Peterson said after playing both third base and left field during Monday's 3-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
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Looking toward the future, there is certainly a chance that Swanson and Albies could become Atlanta's double-play combo at some point during the 2017 season, so there is reason to take advantage of Spring Training to give Peterson a chance to prepare for his potential future role by playing a variety of positions.
"The more positions you can play, the more you'll be used and the more value you will have," Peterson said. "I know that I can go out and play any position, so for them to have the faith and confidence in me to go out there, that's all I need."
While Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has utilized Peterson at four different positions -- second base, shortstop, third base and left field -- during the Grapefruit League season's first week, he has not necessarily been focused as much on the future as he has been on the current uncertainty that exists at both second base and third base.
There is a chance that the Braves will stick with their initial plan to platoon Peterson and Gordon Beckham, who is a right-handed hitter, at second base, but either could prove to be a more attractive option at third base if Adonis Garcia's glove proves to be a problem at the hot corner.
"It's still open for me," Gonzalez said of the second-base position. "If Beckham swings the bat, you've got to try to get him at-bats some place. It's not a straight platoon. … I'm just trying to get [Peterson] in some places where I can get him some at-bats and get Beckham some at-bats "
The Braves know that with Kelly Johnson, they already have a left-handed hitter who can capably play third base. But it still makes some sense to at least introduce Peterson to this position during the early part of Spring Training in the event that he is needed there at some point in the short-term or long-term future.
"It doesn't matter to me," Johnson said. "I like playing different positions. So yeah, I'm fine with it."
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.