Blake makes first appearance at short

Blake makes first appearance at short

CLEVELAND -- Eric Wedge was plum out of shortstops when he pinch-hit Andy Marte for Jorge Velandia in the seventh inning Wednesday.

If he moved everyday starter Jhonny Peralta from his designated hitter's spot, he would lose the DH entirely, which would have forced one of his relievers to take some hacks if the lineup came back around -- so that was out of the question.

So Wedge was left to either move Jamey Carroll to short and have one of the other eight position players play at second, or simply just move one of those guys to shortstop and go from there. Either way, someone was going to play at an unfamiliar place.

Look no further than Cleveland's Mr. Versatility, Casey Blake.

Wedge gave Blake, who started the game at third, a choice. Second or short. Blake chose the latter because, well, he had a little experience at the position.

"He's a hell of an athlete," said Wedge, who inserted Marte at third when Blake moved to short. "We've worked him at second base before and he's been on the left side bouncing around. Really, I feel comfortable putting Casey anywhere."

Blake's last action at the position he played in high school came in 2001 with the Triple-A Edmonton Trappers. He played three games at short that season, making two assists and two putouts with no errors.

In the only inning of his first Major League appearance at the position, Blake was tested. With one out, Giants left fielder Brian Horwitz chopped a grounder toward the new Tribe shortstop. And even though "it's a little farther away and you have to move your feet more," Blake made the putout look routine.

"I knew if it wasn't the first ball, it was going to be the second ball that was going to be hit right to him," Wedge said.

The play probably brought a chuckle or two to former Tribe shortstop Omar Vizquel, who was able to watch Blake's play from the Giants' on-deck circle.

Blake, meanwhile, saw something completely different.

"Omar was taking some notes," Blake said.

Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.