Tommy Field’s diving plays on tough grounders have been tough to miss lately.
As have Andrew Romine’s long, speedy throws to first across the diamond. As have Chris Nelson’s uncannily well-timed hits.
The trio has made life a little easier for the Bees in the last few weeks. Field, Romine and Nelson — all with big-league utility experience — have manned the infield with confidence while sparking plays with their bats as well.
Ground balls have not been much of an issue for Salt Lake. Any shot that comes within a few feet of their gloves are sure to be snagged. And despite the team’s 8-5 loss on Tuesday night to Las Vegas, a combined 7-for-11 performance at the plate shows they can slug it, too.
“All three of us are really shortstops, but we’re all capable of playing all those positions,” Field said. “We’re just trying to get our work in. There’s a lot of trust between the three of us.”
Fortunately for the Bees, each player has been up in the majors for stints this year. Romine and Field were up with the Angels this spring. Nelson has bounced around a little more, going from the Rockies to the Yankees to the Angels before coming to Salt Lake.
Although each player has his strengths, the L.A. Angels have asked the Bees to give them each looks at different spots. So Keith Johnson has rotated them each series as opposed to playing a guessing game in each night’s lineup.
“Personally I think there’s more development that happens when you play a few days at a time as opposed to play once,” he said. “You might not get a ball if you just play there one game. But if you play there two or three days, something’s going to happen that’s going to make you think.”
Both Romine and Field are on the 40-man roster, and Nelson would love to be added sooner rather than later. But the vets say there’s not any tension over competing for essentially the same spot: the Angels’ utility infielder.
Johnson says although they each are burning to get back to the majors, they wouldn’t want to get there because anyone else was playing poorly.
They want everyone to do well, they’re rooting for each other, but if one of them gets called up, they all want to be ready,” he said. “And if they all go about their business, whenever that call comes, it will be a tough decision.”
Owlz 6, Chukars 4 • After jumping to an early 2-0 lead, Orem outmatched Great Falls: In every inning in which the Chukars scored, the host Owlz scored the same number of runs in the bottom of the inning. The Owlz outhit the Chukars 11-8, and Orem’s Jacob Morris led with three hits and two RBIs.
Raptors 5, Osprey 1 • Ogden outhit Missoula 9-5 for the road win, keeping the Osprey scoreless after the first inning. Brandon Trinkwon led the Raptors with two hits and two RBIs.
Storylines 51s 8, Bees 5
R The Bees give up three runs in the ninth inning in a loss to Las Vegas.
• Salt Lake’s Tommy Field gets four hits while Kole Calhoun adds three.
• Chris Nelson goes 2 for 2 before leaving the game early.