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12/01/2017

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CHICAGO -- Sometimes Javier Baez knows ahead of time where he is playing. Jaromir Jagr Jersey . Sometimes he finds out when he arrives at the ballpark.Baez takes it all in stride. After all, his quick hands and athleticism go with him wherever he plays.I always come ready to be out there, Baez said.The versatility and can-do attitude of the 23-year-old Baez played a major role in the Chicago Cubs major league-leading 103 wins this year, helping clear the way for the team to carry three catchers and providing manager Joe Maddon with seemingly endless possibilities for his defensive alignments.He started at second in Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Friday night and homered in the eighth inning, sending Chicago to a 1-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.The NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers have a multitalented player in veteran Howie Kendrick, and the Cleveland Indians, winners of the AL Central, played Jose Ramirez at four different spots this year. The Boston Red Sox used Brock Holt all over the field on their way to the AL East crown.The concept of a utilityman, a player who keeps several gloves in his locker and is ready to go anywhere in a pinch, has been around for a long time. But major league teams appear to be emphasizing more positional versatility up and down the roster, and this years playoffs include a handful of prominent examples.Its an important consideration for us, Indians president Chris Antonetti said. What we try to do is plan for different things that might happen over the course of the year. If guys dont perform, if you have injuries, who is going to be the replacement for that player? So, we go through literally the entire roster, everybody on the field, all the pitchers, if this happens, then what? And versatility helps you plan for that.So, a guy like Jose, who had the ability to not only play all the infield positions, but demonstrated an ability to go out to the outfield, thats immensely helpful as you plan a team, because he can cover you in so many places.Baez was selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft and came up through the minors as a shortstop. But the Cubs also have Addison Russell at that spot, so the team used Baez at several different positions to get him on the field.With his strong arm, quick feet and great hands, Baez might be Chicagos best defender at third, second and shortstop. He also made two starts at first this year. Oh, and he hit .273 with 14 homers and 59 RBI in 142 games.At first it was (hard) because I wasnt used to some positions, but thats why we work in spring training and now Im used to it, Baez said.Maddon is a big believer in versatility. He also has jack-of-all-trades Ben Zobrist, who played for Maddon with Tampa Bay and signed with the Cubs in the offseason, and Kris Bryant, the front-runner for NL MVP who started at third, first, left and right this year.A lot of times you get a kid like thatll come up and everybody says `You got to put him at one position or else youre going to stifle his development. I never understood that, Maddon said. I think you give a guy a chance to play multiple positions and he gets in the lineup more often, thats what happens.Maddon realizes Baez has special gifts.He is unusual. I mean theres not many kids that age that can play a variety of different positions as well as he does, Maddon said last month. Again, slow motor, in a sense, he doesnt get all hyped up about things. Extremely accurate, strong arm. Unbelievable hands and the willingness to do it. Not every team has one of those.The Dodgers also have one in the 33-year-old Kendrick, who made at least seven starts this year at second, third, first and left field. Kendrick played alongside Chone Figgins when he broke into the majors in 2006 with the Angels, and he got some advice from the utilityman that stays with him to this day.Just go out and see what you can do, Kendrick said when asked what Figgins told him. If they ask you if you can play somewhere, try it out and see how you like it. But never really give them an answer like `No. You just say, `Hey, sure, I can try it. If it works, it works.Like Maddon, Kendrick thinks positional versatility is only going to become more important.Essentially, one player becomes like four players, without having to burn multiple people, he said. The game nowadays, thats where its at -- utility guys.The Indians played without All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley for much of the year due to a right shoulder injury, and Ramirez helped make up for his absence by batting .312 with 11 homers and 76 RBI while mostly seeing time at third and in left.Ramirez started at third in Clevelands first two playoff games against Boston and went 4 for 7 as the Indians took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five ALDS.I think the way were constructed we need to have versatility, because if somebody gets hurt or we need to be able to maximize our roster, with guys like Mike Aviles a couple of years ago, and certainly Jose now, it allows us if theres an injury to move him, manager Terry Francona said. Also to create platoon advantages when we want to. And it has helped us enormously.---AP Sports Writers Tom Withers, Howard Fendrich and Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.---Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap Michal Neuvirth Flyers Jersey . Blackwood, 28, has played the last three seasons in the San Diego Padres system, including the past two summers with Class AA San Antonio of the Texas League. Ron Hextall Jersey .Y. - Free agent outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, fresh off winning the World Series with Boston, reached agreement with the rival New York Yankees on a seven-year contract worth about $153 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night. http://www.nhlflyersproauthentic.com/eric-lindros-hockey-jersey/ .ca. Kerry,  Just watched the shootout in the Coyotes/Leafs game and I have to ask, why was the James van Riemsdyk goal allowed to count?  All of the video replays we were shown on TV were inconclusive about whether the puck had entirely crossed the line or not. Having come in at the fall of an early wicket, Cheteshwar Pujara had done most of the hard things right in the Antigua Test. He had seen off the new ball, achieved a 100% control rate against the oppositions most dangerous bowler, Shannon Gabriel, and gone to lunch unbeaten. Shortly after the break, though, he got himself out, top-edging a pull off legspinner Devendra Bishoo.With that, his last five scores in Test cricket were 21, 31, 14, 28, and 16. Its the kind of sequence that, on paper, suggests a batsman isnt converting his starts, or is losing his concentration too often, and a not-too-dissimilar sequence - though longer - briefly cost Pujara his Test spot in early 2015. Pujara, though, says he isnt worried about his form. Speaking to the media on Thursday, he pointed out that some of his recent in-between scores were important contributions in a low-scoring home series against South Africa.Overall I have been batting well and even in the South Africa series there have been good scores and good batting on challenging wickets, he said. So at times you have to be realistic and see the contribution without seeing whether I am getting hundreds or big double-hundreds. Its always about contributing to the teams success.I feel I am batting well without worrying too much about it and at the same time I realise I played a bad shot in the last Test match when I was looking good. I did the hard work in the first session when the ball was moving. Obviously I played a bad shot and there are things to learn from that particular game. Overall the team did well and I am really happy with the way things are going.Pujara was one of only four Indian players - the others were Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar - who turned up for an optional practice session two days before the second Test against West Indiies in Jamaica. Brian Propp Flyers Jersey. . He said he wasnt working on anything specific, and that he just liked to take every opportunity to bat at the nets.I think I just want to practice a little more since I didnt score runs in the first Test match so I can get some extra hits, he said. Whenever there is an option to practice, I prefer to practice. It is always about the individual, [whether he] wants to take a break or practice. I am the kind of player who prefers to practice even on an optional day.There was a healthy covering of grass on the Sabina Park pitch on Thursday, but Pujara said it wouldnt affect the teams plans, or change their preparation, all that much.I dont think so, he said If we see the first Test, there was good pace and bounce from the wicket, and we did well. We just need to continue doing what we have been doing well and there have been many partnerships from the last game. In particular, [R] Ashwin batted well and [Amit] Mishra did well; the top order is doing well and there are contributions from the lower order which is a positive sign from the team.Pujara said his role in the side remained just the same under new head coach Anil Kumble.Things remain very simple, he said. I always have to contribute and play with responsibility. And I have been doing that and keep working hard on my game as I have been. And I dont think I need to really worry much about the kind of performances I have put on or what everyone is saying.I have spoken to [Kumble], he told me about a few things which obviously I cannot disclose here. He has been very positive with the way I have batted in the past and contributions I have made. And he is very happy with the way I have been batting. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '