If you are like me and wondered why Jorge Cantu was starting at first and Wes Helms at third. When the more common defensive adjustment, if Jacobs isn't starting, would seem to be leaving Cantu at third and placing Helms at first .
Manager Fredi Gonzalez switched up his defensive alignment Wednesday. With left-handed hitting first baseman Mike Jacobs sitting against lefty Cole Hamels, Gonzalez started Cantu at first and Wes Helms at third. Cantu leads all major league third basemen with 14 errors.
Between the Rays and Reds last season, Cantu played 21 games at first, starting 20.
"Reaction, and step and a dive, as they say," Cantu said. "I know the basics, the cutoffs, the throws, the positioning. I have all that in my head, which is the most important thing."
Gonzalez said he would continue using Cantu at first and Helms at third when Jacobs sits.
Then I thought about it for a little bit and I guess it makes sense. Cantu is easily the Marlins worst defensive infielder and it is easier to hide his short comings in the field at first. Just as long as the other infielders don't throw the ball in the dirt or a play doesn't require Cantu to throw to third, he can do less harm in the field at first.
I guess the other benefit is that in home games he doesn't have to expend as much energy running to his position and leaving him fresher for his times at the plate.
The early results are: so far, so good. This may end up being a brilliant tactical move. But it is early in the experiment. We will see.