Ian Desmond sat in the Rockies spring training clubhouse and watched reps from Mizuno pound away at a new first baseman's mitt. For the first time in his life, the former shortstop and outfielder needs the specialized glove for that corner infield position.
"I don't care what position I play," Desmond told 9NEWS. "I just want to be an asset to the team, and I think I can do that at first base."
He's never worn this kind of mitt before, not even in little league. He asked them to make the pocket a little deeper and practiced throwing a ball in to the glove over and over.
It's understandable. The pressure is on. And, Desmond has gold glovers relying on him.
"Fortunately, I was a shortstop, so I know how important it is to have a good first baseman," Desmond said. "And, I'm going to do everything I can to help those guys."
This will be the team's fifth new first baseman in five years (Helton, Morneau, Paulsen and Reynolds were the others).
"I didn't know Mark Reynolds last year in spring training," third baseman Nolan Arenado said. "During the season, I loved him and trusted him,"
Reynolds is back with the Rockies and is trying to earn a spot on the major league roster. He's willing to give Desmond some pointers.
"I told him already, whatever you need I'll help you out," said Reynolds. "I don't act like I have first base mastered by any means, but I've played it a little more than he has. So, if he needs help, I'm always there."
"A lot of games are won or lost with first base play," Black said.
The Rockies' new manager doesn't expect this transition to be easy. However, the team couldn't pass up the opportunity to bring a guy like Desmond in.
"Lets get a baseball player," Black told 9NEWS. "Lets get a very good baseball player. Lets get an all-star-- which he was last year--and add him to the mix,"
Desmond signed a 5-year deal with the Rockies. So, he could be a long-term solution at first. That is of course, if the glove fits.